Zesty Tomato Salsa – makes approx. 12 8-ounce jars or 6-7 pints

This salsa goes above and beyond any traditional tomato salsa blend!  Replacing jalapenos with poblano peppers and using red wine vinegar over apple cider vinegar the flavors just dance in your mouth!  The touch of red pepper flakes gives it the right amount of heat while the peppers, puree and cilantro give it a gorgeous color! zesty tomato salsa in stock pot


  • 9-12 dried California Chili Peppers
  • 12 cups finely diced Roma tomatoes, skin on
  • 3 cups finely chopped red onions
  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped cilantro
  • 15 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 large Poblano Peppers, cored and chopped fine
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ¾ tsp red pepper flakes


For this recipe, I use my food processor and pulse each ingredient until cut fine.  Be careful not to puree the ingredients as there should be some texture to the salsa.  The rehydrated chili peppers are the only item you will puree in this recipe.

Dried Chili Pepper Prep:  Remove the stems and any excess seeds.  (Keeping some seeds in the peppers is okay and will add to the salsa’s texture and flavor.)  Using a small stainless steel stock pot, place your dried chili peppers inside and cover with hot tap water.  To fully submerge the peppers, use a salad plate atop the peppers and rest a soup bowl full of hot water on top of the plate.  The peppers need to be fully submerged for 20 minutes to rehydrate.  pureed dried chilies

While the chili peppers are rehydrating, finely chop (or food process) and measure the remaining ingredients.  After the chilies have rehydrated, place them in your food processor with a ¼ of the water used to reconstitute.  Puree the chili peppers and water until a paste is created.

In a large stainless steel stock pot, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring often to avoid scorching the salsa.  Once brought to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  The goal is to reduce the salsa down so to allow excess water to evaporate therefore thickening the salsa.  After 10 minutes, remove from heat and begin filling jars.

zesty tomato salsa processed in half pintsAfter ladling the salsa into hot jars, use a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar to wipe the jar rims and screw bands.  Place prepared lids and rings atop each jar and hand tighten.  Process jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  Pints and half pints process at the same time.  If using quarts, process for 20 minutes.  Remember, processing time doesn’t begin until water is at a full rolling boil.

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