My mother-in-law, Florence, has made jars of salsa for me each year for closer to twenty years, until last year. Last year I decided it was time for me to start making my own, using her recipe.

The main difference between Mom’s recipe and mine is that I don’t peel the tomatoes, I don’t slice and dice the different veggies into bite size chunks, and cook it longer to thicken it up.

If you want a chunky salsa, these are steps you’ll need to take. If you’re happy with a thick but not chunky salsa, follow the steps below. I’ve added some additional info at the end of the recipe for those who prefer their salsa chunky.

This salsa is hot … not super hot but definitely more than medium hot. Cut back on the jalapenos and jalapeno seeds for less heat.

Ingredients For Flo’s Homemade Salsa

21 cups of good quality skin-on field tomatoes, chopped*
7 to 9 jalapenos, without the seeds, chopped*
10+/- jalapeno seeds
9 red chili peppers, chopped*
6 cups white onions, chopped*
9+/- garlic cloves, chopped*
4+/- cups peppers (mixture of red, yellow, green), chopped*
1 1/2 cups cilantro, chopped*
3 5 1/2 ounce cans of tomato paste
2 1/4 cups white vinegar
3 tbsp coarse salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin

* chop in a food processor before measuring

Directions For Preparing Flo’s Homemade Salsa

  1. Peel onions and garlic. Set aside
  2. Wash vegetables, remove cores or seeds as appropriate. Set aside.
  3. Quarter tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
  4. Use a food processor to blend together all the ingredients to desired chunkiness. Do this in batches as not everything will fit in the processor at one time.
  5. As each batch is blended, pour the mixture into a large pot, one big enough to handle everything once blended.
  6. Heat mixture slowly over medium-low heat to bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat to continue cooking at a simmer, until desired thickness is reached. For chunky mixtures allow roughly one hour. For thicker non-chunky (well blended) salsa, let the mixture simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
  7. Pour or spoon salsa into sterilized canning jars and seal with sterilized lids.
  8. Allow salsa to cool and settle overnight, ensuring lids have sealed properly.
  9. Store in a cool location until ready to use.

This recipe makes roughly 20 cups of salsa (or 10 jars of 500 ml or 2 cups each). Adjust the ingredients to make less or more.