Tomato salsa with tortilla chips has got to be one of America’s favorite snacks.
It is definitely my husband’s favorite, which is why I named this garden tomato salsa after him.
When I asked my hubby why he loves salsa so much he said it is “vivacious and chirpy.”
He also said the taste of tomato, along with the vinegar and onion, is “very stimulating.”
“I eat it because my thought is associated with the fact that I will be invigorated when I eat it," he elaborated.
Hmmm … thinking about this salsa lover’s description seems to explain a lot about why salsa is so popular.
And Kannan’s garden tomato salsa checks all the boxes for exciting flavor, spiciness, and dip-ability.
However, it is not very spicy. It is more of a mild-to-medium version.
Garden Tomato Salsa
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I have a large backyard garden.
I grow around 50 different varieties of vegetables and herbs, but tomatoes are probably my most rewarding crop.
The crazy thing though is when the tomatoes start to ripen. Everything happens at once, leaving you with more tomatoes than you know what to do with.
At the same time, both the beauty and the anticipation of the bursting flavor of vine-ripened tomatoes makes you want to eat as many of them as you can ... as quickly as you can, before they go bad.
A garden tomato salsa can be made in minutes, so it is the ideal way to enjoy fresh garden tomatoes.
Naturally, I invited my hubby’s tastebuds to help me perfect the recipe.
He didn’t decide the ingredients, but he did help to perfect the taste. I deemed him qualified to help with everything but the spice levels.
This was to protect you, the reader, because my hubby has a very high tolerance for spices.
But I love him. So to satisfy his desire for excitement, there is a version in our house just for him, with extra red chillies.
How To Make Garden Tomato Salsa
To make this recipe, you’ll want to source the finest tomatoes you can find.
If you don't have a garden, try a farmers' market or your local grocery store.
I love the large tomatoes. If you like, you can quarter them and remove some of the seeds.
Then chop the tomatoes into half-inch pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
Next, cover with a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Then leave the tomatoes to sit for at least 30 minutes.
The salt helps to draw out the water from the tomatoes so that your salsa is thicker.
Now, drain off the water, and add the remaining ingredients, the jalapeño, red onion, fresh lime juice, tomato paste, and cilantro.
Finally, taste it and add more salt if you like, but keep in mind that if the salsa is eaten with tortilla chips, the chips will also have salt on them.
Finally, if you are a spice lover like my husband, you could add a pinch of red chili or cayenne pepper powder. You can have as much as you like!
I sincerely hope that you love this garden tomato salsa as much as we do!
Kannan’s Garden Tomato Salsa (Updated for Canning)
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped into half-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime , juiced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro or coriander leaf, minced
Method for quick salsa
- Chop tomatoes into half-inch pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Add salt and mix well. Let tomatoes rest for 2-3 hours. The salt will extract a lot of water from the tomatoes.
- If you are just making salsa and not canning it, you can discard the liquid. If you are canning, you’ll want to save the liquid.
- Add jalapeño, red onion, fresh lime juice, tomato paste, and cilantro, and gently stir.
- Taste, and adjust for salt. You may want to add more, but consider that there is also salt on tortilla chips.
- If you want the spicier version that my hubby enjoys, add a touch of red chili or cayenne pepper powder.
Method for canning
- Multiply the recipe by however many tomatoes you have. The tomato salsa uses a water bath canning method. You will need a pot large enough to hold your jars, and a trivet or steamer insert to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot to avoid breaking jars. You will also need a jar lifter and a funnel to fill the jars. Your jars will also need fresh sealing lids and rings.
- Fill the pot with water and place empty jars in the water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-10 minutes. Alternately, run your jars through a sterilizing cycle in the dishwasher.
- Meanwhile, bring reserved tomato liquid to a boil. Simmer 10-20 minutes to reduce and concentrate the liquid, then add the prepared tomato salsa. Heat the salsa just until it is hot. There is no need to boil the salsa. You just want hot salsa to put into the jars.
- Transfer hot salsa into jars using a funnel. Leave at least ¼ inch space at the top of the jars. Use a clean cloth to wipe the top edges of the jars clean. Cover with sterilized lids, then add the rings and tighten until finger tight.
- Use a jar holder to transfer the prepared jars into the water bath. Set a timer for 20 minutes after the water begins to boil. Remove using the jar lifter and allow to cool for 24 hours, or overnight.
- Remove the rings and check the seals. Wash jars using soap and water, then dry. Label with the contents and date. Store in a cool, dry place.
- Enjoy the salsa right away, with corn chips, pita chips, tacos, or burritos.
- It keeps in the fridge for 7-10 days, since the lime juice acts as a mild preservative.