Signature Picante Salsa & Bonus Tomato Growing Tips

Everyone has a signature move. Mine is my salsas. I make a variety of fresh salsas but most people want a canning salsa. This is water bath canned ( get familiar with proper water bath canning practices before starting or you can take one of our upcoming canning classes) and couldn’t be easier. Try not to vary too much from the recipe as that can be dangerous with PH levels.

The only trick with this is making sure the salsa doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot so frequent stirring is a must.

I also double and triple this recipe no problem, I just simmer a bit longer or pour off a bit of juice. Remember when cutting jalapeño peppers up, use rubber gloves and don’t touch your eyes nose or mouth. Ask me how I know.

Picante Salsa

Servings 5 500 ml jars


  • 4 ½ lbs ripe tomatoes scalded, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large spanish onion or 2 med yellow onions
  • 1 medium red pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 3 -6 jalepeno peppers chopped (for extra heat include seeds)
  • 5 ½ oz tomato paste
  • ¾ cup lemon juice I use bottled so I know the ph is consistent
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp coarse pickling salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Optional:fresh cilantro


  • Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently. Simmer on medium heat for 60 minutes, stirring frequently, until desired consistency. Close to the end of cooking, taste to see if it is hot enough, if not you can add more jalapenos.
  • Pour into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Take the lid off and let set for 5 minutes before removing jars. Let jars sit 24 hours before storing.
Before some aggressive pruning and pinching back in the tomato hoop house.

Growing Great Tomatoes 

  • Start with healthy vigorous transplants, started inside under light, 8 weeks before the last frost date.
  • Put some crushed eggshells in the hole before planting.
  • I grow tomatoes under cover here, as we are prone to a lot of moisture, rain and blight, and it’s always a little cooler here.
  • Use ground watering, either with drip hose irrigation, or just a watering can watering at the roots. 
  • Try not to overhead water. If the leaves yellow, you are watering too much.
  • Stake or give support indeterminate tomatoes, like Amish paste, when you plant. 
  • Plant a variety of indeterminate (will produce all season),, cherry (ripens faster), and determinate (all usually ripen at once) for various harvests throughout August and into September.
  • Harvest any remaining green tomatoes before the first frost, and store inside as they will ripen over time.
  • Wash, and freeze tomatoes in freezer bags to process later if you are overwhelmed.


Happy growing,

Love, Jenn xx

the very end of the season… I was getting tired!

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