Lots of tomatoes? Try this salsa!

By Carol / August 19, 2013 /
Ready to get canning.

Ready to get canning.

Zucchini has a bad reputation for producing far more than anyone can eat. Not so much in my garden. For us, the producers are cucumbers and tomatoes. Since I’m bringing in a large colander loaded with tomatoes every day, I’ve kicked into canning mode. Yesterday I geared up for salsa.

If you’re enjoying an abundance of tomatoes this year, you might like to try this recipe:


20 cups skinned/chopped tomatoes
8 cups chopped onions
3 bell peppers, diced
7 hot banana peppers (no seeds)
8 jalapeno peppers, diced, no seeds
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 T chili powder
5 T salt
2 1/2 cup white vinegar
4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cup corn starch

Set aside two cups tomato puree and add corn starch. Mix well. Combine all other ingredients and cook for 20 minutes or more. Add tomato/cornstarch mixture and cook for approximately one hour. Stir often and watch the heat. Once the corn starch is added, it has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Sterilize pint jars and lids. Fill hot jars with salsa and seal. The recipe makes 12-14 pints, depending on how generously I measure things.

Notes:  How hot this salsa winds up depends on the size and heat of the peppers. This batch will be plenty hot because I used larger than normal jalapeno peppers. But then I only had half enough banana peppers, so who knows?

End of the day - 14 pints of salsa and 3 quarts of tomatoes.

End of the day – 14 pints of salsa and 3 quarts of tomatoes.

Other than crying a million tears while I chop onions and peppers, and having to watch the pot so the salsa doesn’t burn, it’s an easy recipe. And very tasty. We use it for everything you’d normally use salsa on. In addition, I like to add a pint when I make a pot of chili. That really adds zip.

The recipe is courtesy of a niece, Angela, via her mother, my sister-in-law, Anita. I’ve been making it for years.

I’ve also blogged about my favorite refrigerator pickle recipe. If you have cukes in abundance this year, hop on over and check it out. Super easy and takes no time at all.

I hope you’re enjoying your garden as much as we are ours. Happy summer!

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  1. Mary Gottschalk on August 20, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Carol … love the photos, and love the lobster pot you used to make the salsa. It gives “converting to a new use” a whole new dimension!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

      Your lobster pot is huge, Mary, so I wasn’t sure it would work. I really liked that it fit over two burners. Mom had so many canning pots that were just right for many things, but nothing so big as this lobster pot. Thanks for letting me be the current caretaker of the pot!

  2. Paulette Mahurin on August 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Yum! The perfect dig to go with chips and a drink while reading a great book. Love salsa. Thanks!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 20, 2013 at 10:28 am

      That’s the way to bring books into the discussion, Paulette. Thanks!

  3. Sharon Lippincott on August 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Oh, this sounds so yummy. I’m from a New Mexico chile and salsa tradition. Cornstarch in salsa is a totally new idea to me. Interesting. I only wish we had a garden. Our tiny spot of open ground is surrounded by ancient oaks and maples towering more than 100 feet above. We get about one hour a day of sun, and local critters consider the neighbors’ gardens their own personal deli bar. The price of life in a private wild-life park…

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      We’re fortunate to live in Iowa, where we have space, climate, and soil favorable to gardening. Your oaks and maples sound like an incredibly beautiful environment, too, Sharon.

      We like the way this turns out, but the cornstarch does strike some folks as a little odd. It thickens, of course. I’ve never tried to make it without, but that would be an interesting experiment. I plan to make a second batch this year, so I may try that. Should I do that, I’ll be sure to post the result.

  4. Belinda Nicoll on August 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks, Carol. I’m going to give it a try with half the ingredients. Would you care to share your chili recipe? Mexican cuisine is ‘new’ to us – we grew up with curry, though, as there’s a large Indian community in South Africa.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      I’ve made half recipes before and it works out just as well. I made a second batch, leaving out the corn starch, just to see how that worked. It turned out great and I didn’t have to stir it constantly. Once it came to a boil, I cooked it for half an hour. Boy is this version hot! I had plenty of hot banana peppers and an extra jalapeno. Yikes! I’ll email the chili recipe.

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