Green Tomato Salsa Verde

As I may have mentioned before, I’ve given up on tomatoes. As it turns out, however, tomatoes have not given up on me: this year we had close to a dozen rogue tomato plants that emerged from my flower beds with no provocation from me! And that’s not even counting the ten or twenty little plants I ripped untimely from the soil in late spring. On top of our compost tomatoes, our friend, Chris, brought over half a dozen more plants.

On the principle that my focused attention on my tomatoes in previous years resulted in a tiny harvest of flavourless, thick-skinned fruit, I did my best to ignore the plants this year. And though I wouldn’t suggest they thrived on my neglect, we did end up with a healthy harvest of green tomatoes at the end of September.

James decided to make green tomato salsa verde and enlisted my help as a sous chef. Within minutes, of course, I was ordering the poor man around, so it turned out to be less of a chef/sous-chef situation and more of a cooperative effort.

We used this recipe, but made some changes: first, we didn’t bother to peel or core the tomatoes; second, we doubled the recipe; third, we used a mix of red and white onions; fourth, we increased the tomatoes and onions; fifth, we did not seed the jalepenos; sixth, we used a food processor for all the ingredients.

The result was twenty-one cups of delicious….

Green Tomato Salsa Verde

  • 20 cups green tomatoes
  • 10 jalapeno peppers (just cut the stem end off)
  • 8 onions, half red, half white
  • 8 cloves garlic

Loosely chop the above ingredients and run through the food processor in batches until everything is very finely chopped and everything is about the same size. Mix together and pour into a very large pot on the stove.


  • 1 cup fresh lime juice

Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and add….

  • 1 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Stir and simmer for five minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your canning jars by placing them in a pot of boiling water and simmering for twenty minutes. Add the tops for the last five minutes.

Remove the jars from the water and decant the salsa into the jars leaving half an inch at the top of the jar. Turn the lids until fingertip tight. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for twenty minutes. Remove jars and cool.

As the jars cool, you’ll hear them pop one by one. If any of the jars don’t pop, put them in the fridge and eat them first! You can see if they’ve popped because the indentation on top of the lid will be depressed. If a jar hasn’t popped, the centre of the lid will be slightly convex. Tighten the lids once they’ve popped.

The recipe made twelve one-cup and four two-cup jars of deliciously fresh-tasting salsa!

Green Tomato Salsa Verde

The final jar contained only one lonely cup, so I figured we may as well dig in right away!

The song of the day is The Low Anthem’s “Don’t Tremble.” The lyrics are appropriate because of my interior chant when it comes to all things gardening and all things cooking: you have to be patient; you have to be brave.

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