Hot n’ Spicy Salsa


If you like spicy salsa, this is the recipe for you. Of course, it can be adjusted according to your spice tolerance. In our house, the spicier the better. We grow a few varieties of hot peppers (jalapeno, habanero and spicy banana this year) and it seems as though they all become ripe at the same time. What does one do with dozens of jalapeno and habanero peppers other than make salsa? I don’t have a clue!


Unfortunately, our beautiful tomato plants were pillaged and destroyed this year and thus yielded no tomatoes at all. We suspect deer and raccoons were the culprit. This was a big tragedy for us. To nurture a plant from the time it is 3 inches tall until it grows to be as tall as a person, weighted down with several pounds of fruit is a very personal endeavor. The plants are like my babies. When all of those plants get chewed to bits and every single fruit gets plundered off of them by barbarians (raccoons) in the night, well lets just say I cried a little.

To remedy this situation, Jairus and I went to the farmers market and bought about 8 pounds of delicious, ripe, local tomatoes. We chose some red ones, some golden and some lumpy gnarly heirloom ones. I then began creating my salsa recipe by the seat of my pants, tasting as I went. It it very important to make salsa with fruit that is perfectly ripe. The tomatoes I used were nearly bursting at the seams with juice and the flavor is to die for.


Here is my recipe, tried and true:


  • About 6 lbs ripe tomatoes, chopped. Doesn’t matter what variety as long as they are juicy and perfectly ripe. The quantity of tomatoes in the photo above amounts to about 6-8 lbs, more or less.
  • 1-2 yellow onions, chopped.
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-5 jalapeno peppers, minced*
  • 2-3 habanero peppers, minced*
  • handful parsley, chopped
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp pickling salt
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • a dash of black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

*Note: for those who prefer less spicy salsa, leave the pepper seeds out. If you are like me and LOVE spicy hot peppers, throw those babies in the pot!


  1. Place jars in canner (large lobster pot) and boil for 10 minutes with lid on to sanitize. Lids and rims go in for last few minutes of boiling.
  2. Place all ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and boil gently for about 20 minutes until salsa is thickened.
  3. Remove hot jars from canner and set on dish towel. Ladle salsa into the jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe rims clean, apply lids and rims and gently tighten to “finger-tight”.
  4. Process for 20 minutes. If you have never canned before, “processing” means boiling the jars after they have been filled. This pressurizes the insides of the jars and seals them so they can sit in your cabinet for months or years at a time without the contents spoiling. If you have never canned before, please do a little research before embarking on this recipe because there are a lot of important tricks and tips that are crucial to the process that I am not about to get into here.







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