Enjoy this fresh, small-batch homemade tomato salsa anytime, one jar at a time, so you can make it as you need it, year round, without the need to can.
If I were to tell you how long I’ve been making this salsa, I would really date myself ;) It’s a long time favourite! But before I go on, let me tell you that I’m a Canadian. And I live in the bush in central Ontario. I’m no where near an expert on “authentic” salsa. I don’t have access to a wide variety of peppers, even if I knew the best ones to use. But I do know what I like. That I’m sure of, and I like this salsa – on nachos, on eggs and on just about anything.
The one thing I don’t totally love though is processing lots of bigs jars. That’s why I’ve evolved in to making this salsa “on demand” – cooking up one big jar and just keeping it in the fridge to use in the short term. The fact is, the ingredients for this salsa are available year round. Sure, they’re fresher and more economical in the Summer, but they aren’t out of reach in the winter, so making salsa year round is completely do-able.
This salsa recipe delivers great fresh flavour and you can adapt it to your tastes very easily. Chop your vegetables in large pieces for a chunky salsa or in small pieces for a more smooth salsa. Add a bit of heat or a lot of heat. Make it your own and enjoy it any time as the recipe only makes 4 cups of salsa. You can even half the recipe and make a smaller batch if that’s more than you can use in the short term (30-days or so).
Of course, you can also double the recipe, make lots and “can” it to be shelf-stable over the winter. That’s always an option.
Cook’s Notes for Small-Batch Homemade Tomato Salsa
The basic salsa recipe doesn’t include anything much that’s going to deliver heat. You’re going to add that at the end. Resist the urge to add hot peppers in with your cooking mixture. It’s very hard to control the heat of the finished product that way. By adding pepper sauce (Tabasco™) at the end, you have complete control over the heat. Add as much or as little as you personally like.
Want to change it up? Try Chipotle Tabasco™. And in case you’re wondering, Sriracha is an option, if that’s the only hot sauce you have on hand, but personally I don’t find it’s the best choice for tomato salsa.
This recipe is adapted from Canadian Living’s “Peppy Salsa”.
Small-batch Homemade Tomato Salsa
- 1 cup seeded and diced jalapeno pepper (about 5)
- 4 cups peeled chopped fresh tomatoes about 4 large/6 medium
- 1 cup diced onion about 1 medium
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 1/2 cups diced mixed sweet peppers about 2 large bell peppers (yellow/orange bell peppers, cubanelle, anaheim or sweet banana peppers are all good choices)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp. white sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. fine salt
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
To be added after salsa is cooked:
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce,Tabasco™ or 1 1/2 tsp. - 1 Tbsp. minced fresh hot pepper *Add 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce for mild salsa up to 1 1/2 tsp. for hot
Combine all the Salsa ingredients in a large, non-reactive (not aluminum) pot and bring to a boil on the stove-top over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, for about 1 hour, or until thickened.
Test your salsa: Place a tablespoon of salsa on a clean plate. Tip the plate. Salsa should flow as one mass, not break into pieces).
Remove pot from heat. Stir in fresh cilantro and hot sauce. Spoon into clean 1 quart jar (or two 2-cup jars) and allow to stand on the counter for 15-20 minutes to cool slightly. Place jar lid on loosely and refrigerate until cool. Tighten jar lid for longer storage. Must be refrigerated, as it is not processed. Will keep in the fridge for about 30 days.
*If you want to make a large batch and process it for longer, shelf storage, simply double the recipe then fill jars to within 1/4-inch of top and process for 10 minutes in a water bath or process in a pressure cooker.