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Mild Fire Roasted Salsa


So last night, when I told my husband that I was heading to the farm this morning to pick up salsa making supplies and asked him how much salsa I should make for the year.

“Do you think 12 pints will be enough?”

“No way! Quarts, not pints. How about 50? I really like salsa.”

I didn’t make 50 quarts. But I did make 50 lbs. of tomato worth of salsa today. 14 quarts, 7 pint-and-a-halfs, and 12 pints total between this mild version and the hot version just for him. Cayenne and all, this was mild enough for both me and my two toddlers. Who LOVED it, by the way. They were sucking it hot off of tortilla chips and asking for more. Even though it’s vegetables!

You can adjust the heat and flavor to your own preferences by switching out the peppers: just make sure you keep the proportions of peppers to tomatoes the same so that you can insure your acid balance is correct for canning.

Mild Fire Roasted Salsa

Prep time: a LOT (depends on your chopping/peeling speed, honestly), Total time: even more, Yield: 12 pints (and perhaps a bit to eat right away)


  • 12 lbs. fresh tomatoes
  • 4 lbs. fresh Anaheim peppers
  • 2 fresh Fresno peppers
  • 4 medium sweet onions
  • 8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to broil. Score an “X” on the blossom end of each of your tomatoes and arrange them on a large cookie sheet (with lip) lined with aluminum foil and cook on the rack closest to your broiler until the skin begins to blister and char. Turn each tomato and repeat on the other side. Empty the cookie sheet and repeat until all tomatoes have been charred.
  2. Fill the cookie sheet with your peppers and do it again. When you remove your peppers, toss them into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for fifteen minutes.
  3. Remove the skins from tomatoes, core them, and coarsely chop. Mince the onion (or pulse it in a food processor, like me). Put the tomato, tomato juice, onion, salt, ground cumin, cumin seeds, and ground cayenne in a large stainless steel or enameled stock pot.
  4. Peel the peppers; remove and discard most of the seed (leave some for the heat). Mince (or pulse in the food processor again) the peppers and add to your stock pot.
  5. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. If you prefer saucy salsa (like me) rather than chunky, use an immersion blender to blend the mixture up.
  6. Turn off the heat. Add your chopped cilantro and lime juice, stirring well. Taste (after letting your spoonful cool); make sure you like the flavor and adjust spicing, if necessary.
  7. Ladle hot salsa into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. If you have left your salsa chunky, remove any air bubbles. Wipe the jar rim and apply your lid and band, making sure that it is fingertip-tight.
  8. Place the jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
  9. Process jars for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and let sit to cool (untouched).

Note: I added about 1 tsp. of liquid smoke to mine, to up the smoky flavor, cuz I’m weird like that. If in 12-24 hours, your jar lids haven’t “pinged” (or vacuum-sealed), place the unsealed jars in the fridge and eat within two weeks.


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