Canned Tomato Salsa

jude31(6 E Tn)August 26, 2011

I have been making Annie's Salsa for a few years and love it. I ran across this recipe that has the option of roasting the tomatoes and uses roasted Anaheim peppers. I think it would be interesting to see what roasting some of the veggies adds to the taste. A lot of the recipe is similar to Annie's and to my untrained eye it looks safe. I would like the opinion of those more expert eyes.


Canned Tomato Salsa Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

Before starting, prepare your workspace so that it is clean and uncluttered. If you don't want to roast your own green chiles, you can sub with about two 7-ounce cans of green chiles, chopped. This recipe uses specific amounts of ingredients, balancing the non-acidic ingredients with the amount of added acid needed to make the recipe safe. Do not increase the amount of green chiles beyond 1 1/2 cups, or decrease the amount of tomatoes less than 7 cups.


5 lbs of tomatoes

1 lb large Anaheim green chiles (5-6 chiles)

3 jalapeno chilies, seeded and stems removed, chopped

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (including stems)

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons sugar

Canning equipment needed:

5 to 6 pint-sized canning jars, with rings and new lids

A very large stockpot or canning pot (16-qt)

A flat steamer rack on which to place the filled jar for the water bath canning, so that they don't touch the bottom of the pan and crack from excess heat

Canning equipment recommended:

Canning tongs to make it easy to lift the jars in and out of boiling water

Rubber or latex coated gardening gloves to make it easier on your hands for handling hot jars


1 Prepare for canning. Place steamer rack in the bottom of a large (16-qt) stock pot or canning pot. Place new or clean mason jars on the rack. Fill the jars with water and fill the pot with just enough water to come to the top of the jars. Heat water to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. (Keep the jars warm while preparing the salsa.)

Have a kettle half filled with water ready to boil, to use to sterilize the jar lids a few minutes before canning.

2 Roast the Anaheim green chile peppers until blackened all over. The best way to do this is directly over a gas flame on the stovetop (see how to roast chiles over a gas flame.) If you don't have a gas cooktop you can broil the chiles, or blister them on a grill. Note that it is not essential that the chile peppers be cooked through, only that the outer tough skin is blistered and blackened. This is what will help with flavor. Also it will make it easy to peel the chiles. Just put the chiles near a heat source until blistered and blackened, and turn them so that they get blackened on all sides. Then place the chiles in a brown paper bag (or in a covered bowl), close the bag and let the chiles steam in their own heat for a few minutes. Then gently rub off the outer skin and discard. Cut away the stems and remove the seeds and any prominent veins. Chop up the chiles and set aside; you should have 1 cup of chopped chiles. Do not use more than 1 1/2 cups of chopped chiles.

3 Prepare the tomatoes. You want the tomatoes peeled, and there are several ways of doing that. Blanching them is easiest; grilling or broiling will result in more flavor. To blanch them, score the ends of the tomatoes and place them in boiling water for a minute. If you are going to grill or broil the tomatoes, I recommend coring them first. Grilling is best with whole plum tomatoes; grill them on high direct heat until blackened in parts and the peels are cracked. Broiling works with any sized tomato. Just cut them in half and place the cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Broil until the peels are blackened in parts.

Remove the tomatoes (from water, grill or broiler) and let cool to the touch. Remove and discard the peels. Cut away any cores if you haven't done so already. Chop the tomatoes taking care to save any juices that may come out of them. Starting with 5 pounds of tomatoes you should end up with about 8 cups of chopped tomatoes and juices. (You must use at least 7 cups of tomatoes.) Place them in a bowl and set aside.

4 Put all of the ingredients into a large (8-qt) stainless steel pot. (Do not use aluminum or the acidity of the sauce will cause the aluminum to leach into the sauce.) Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10 minutes.

5 If you want your salsa to be more smooth than chunky, use an immersion blender to pulse it a few times, or working in batches ladle about half of it into a blender and purée.

6 Adjust seasonings. If too acidic to taste, you can balance it with a little more sugar.

7 Ladle salsa into canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe the rims with a clean, dampened paper towel so that there is no residual food on the rims. Place canning lids on the jars. Screw on the lid rings. Do not over-tighten or you may not get a good seal. Air does need to escape from the jars during the next step, the water bath.

8 Place the filled and lidded jars back onto the rack in the large stock-pot of hot water you used to sterilize the jars in step one. You may need to remove some of the water from the pot to prevent it from overfilling. Cover the jars with at least 1-inch of water. Bring to a rolling boil and process for 15 minutes (20 minutes for altitudes 1000 to 6000 ft, 25 minutes above 6000 ft). Then turn off heat and let the jars sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water bath and let sit on a counter for several hours until completely cool. The lids should "pop" as the cooling salsa creates a vacuum under the lid and the jars are sealed. If a lid has not sealed, either replace the lid and reprocess in a water bath for another 15 minutes, or store in the refrigerator and use within the next few days.

Remember to label the cans with the date processed. (I use a Sharpie on the lid.) Canned salsa should be eaten within a year.

Yield: Makes about 5 pints.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

What is the source of the recipe? That alone can often tell you if it is safe or not.

Nothing that I know of says you can't use roasted vegetables in Annie's Salsa if you wish. You just have to measure before roasting so the amounts don't get changed. So personally if I wanted the roasted flavor I'd just roast the tomatoes and peppers, and use them to make Annie's salsa recipe.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 11:51AM
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jude31(6 E Tn)

I received it from "Simply Recipes". Without checking the other recipe, I think the big difference is the substitution of Anaheim chilies for the green sweet pepper, which would suit me just fine, and adding oregano to the spices, which I could do without.

If I could just sub the peppers and roast them and the tomatoes, would using Annie's recipe still be safe?


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:11PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I'm with Dave. Where did this recipe come from?

OK, found it. It looks like it comes from The only thing I can suggest is emailing the poster and finding out how she developed the recipe. If she did what Dave suggested, took a recognized safe salsa recipe and amended it with roasted chilis then it's fine.

It's unfortunate she didn't provide attribution or some chain of sources/changes, though her language certainly indicates awareness of the issues.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 12:13PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If I could just sub the peppers and roast them and the tomatoes, would using Annie's recipe still be safe?

We have often discussed here that you can sub any peppers you wish as long as the total amounts remain the same (or less). So yes, hots can sub for the sweets or vice versa. And roasting the tomatoes and peppers poses no issues except for the measurements. That is why I said measure the called for amounts first before roasting as it will change the measurements after and you could easily add way too many peppers.

The oregano, if you use dry pose no problems. Dried herbs and spices don't change the pH so you can add it to the Annie's Salsa recipe with no problems.


PS: for future reference, recipes from that particular source have to be evaluated individually for safety. It isn't a valid source for canning recipes - cooking, fine but canning, no - unless it provides the specific source info.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 1:19PM
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hmmm... I've wondered about roasting veggies in salsa. But I'm wondering if you roast the tomatoes and peppers (so you know the ratios are right), wouldn't you also need to roast the onions, so that ratio isn't off?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 12:16AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

The ratios refers to the balance of various low-acid ingredients as originally measured in relation to the acid (i.e. vinegar, bottled citrus juices).

So if the original recipe contains sufficient acid for the veggies included, then whether they are roasted (I'm not talking about preparing with oil.) or fresh, whether some or all are roasted, doesn't matter. Certainly I can see some might like the flavor of roasted onion but there's no requirement to do so.

The only qualifier in this whole discussion is that roasted veggies may be more dense, but as salsas tend to be quite liquid anyway, I don't see that as a particular issue.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 1:43AM
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Carol - Thanks for the explanation. I think I understand. Given the other discussions on this board, I guess I'm surprised the density wouldn't affect how long you need to process in a water bath... I've learned a lot from reading the discussions on this board, but am still working my head around the science behind these issues (I do better when I understand why I'm doing things...)

Oh, as an aside, I've now made Annie's Salsa 3 times and my husband has declared it the best salsa he's ever had!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 2:02PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

People in Latin cultures refer to Mexican Oregano as just Oregano.

Mediterranean Oregano is Origanum vulgare

Mexican Oregano is Lippia graveolens

Dried Mexican Oregano is a valid ingredient in salsa and Latin/Southwestern food....

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 1:03PM
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jude31(6 E Tn)

One more question that may be stupid...When I make Annie's Salsa I measure the tomatoes after I chop them, same with peppers. I can't imagine roasting them after they're chopped which, seems to me, that's what you are advising. Am I reading you wrong? I would think whole, halved or quartered tomatoes would not measure the same as chopped. If I roast the tomatoes, just halved or quartered, for instance, I don't have to peel them before hand and the peels will just slide off and be easy to pick out.Then I could chop them. This is about my 4th year to make Annie's salsa so I hope I've not been doing something wrong. Sure is good, anyhow. The only change I make is the amount of jalapenos to vary the "heat".


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 7:02PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

You would measure before roasting. If the recipe calls for 7 cups of tomatoes then that is 7 ups before roasting. If you measured after roasting they will have shrunk and collapsed so you could easily add more than the 7 cups called for in the recipes and that would make it too dense.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 7:19PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I don't know as the more I read this particular recipe the more confusing it gets. First it says 5 lbs. tomatoes, then it says 7 cups, then it says 8 cups chopped after roasting. So which is it? Makes no sense to me because normally 5 lbs is 5 lbs and 7 cups is 7 cups of tomatoes no matter what you do them AFTER weighing/measuring them.

Annie's recipe is specific. This one isn't. So I guess you can handle them however you wish - which is another reason why it doesn't sound like a very accurate recipe, especially for salsa and its associated risks. The amounts called for are so variable that how can the author possibly have accounted for density issues, much less pH?


    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 8:15PM
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