Can Jam #8: “Tomatoes”– Spicy Tomato Salsa

Julia of What Julia Ate picked this month’s focus for Tigress’ Can Jam: Tomatoes. I immediately knew what I was going to make: SALSA! The hubby and I really love tortilla chips with some hot salsa – soooo good!

Thus, I was flipping through the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving because I knew there were quite a lot of salsa recipes in there. It took me some time to decide which recipe to tackle, but then the “Spicy Tomato Salsa” sounded most appealing to me.

Oh my, peeling, coring and dicing the tomatoes was such a mess. I never would have imagined it would be THAT much work, and I was surprised at how many tomatoes you need for a rather small amount of salsa. I can’t tell yet if the salsa was worth the effort because I tasted it when it was still warm – it hasn’t cooled down yet, so I’ll have to update my post once I come back from grocery shopping with some tortilla chips tomorrow.

UPDATE: This salsa tastes fine, but the salsa I always buy is better, and unfortunately I’m not one of these gourmets who can figure out how to adjust the homemade salsa to taste like the store-bought one. I’ll play around with some other salsa recipes from the book… As fate would have it, my baking fellow Abby has canned salsa very recently, and I guess this is the recipe  I’ll try next. So read about her first canning experience here.

Spicy Tomato Salsa

(adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)


  • 4 dried chili peppers (I used ancho)
  • hot water
  • 4 cups diced cored peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped red and normal onions
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed finely chopped cilantro (I couldn’t find fresh cilantro, so I used 1/3 oz dried cilantro)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 medium hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 tblsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes


  1. In a heatproof glass or stainless steel bowl, combine dried chilies with hot water to cover. Weigh chilies down with a bowl to ensure they remain submerged, and soak until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain off half of the water. Transfer chilies and remaining water to a blender and purée until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.
  3. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine chili purée, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, garlic, chili peppers, vinegar, salt and hot pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  4. Ladle hot salsa into hot jars. Wipe rim. Put lids on the jars.
  5. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process jars for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

6 responses to “Can Jam #8: “Tomatoes”– Spicy Tomato Salsa

  1. I will sen you my address so you can mail me some of that!

  2. This looks awesome, Andrea! How did it taste??

    And hey, after reading about your canning adventures for all this time, I finally bought some canning supplies *today*! =)

    • The taste was good. The salsa I always buy is better, though, and unfortunately I’m not one of these gourmets who can figure out how to adjust the homemade salsa to taste like the store-bought one… 😦

  3. This looks absolutely delicious! I’m definitely going to make it. =)

  4. P.S. I noticed you said you prefer the one you buy, but I’ve always preferred it fresh, so I imagine I’d really love this one. =)

  5. I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (, a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

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