food For the home

End of the Harvest Green Tomato Salsa

October 30, 2016

It is the end of the season. The garden now buried under a blanket of fall leaves. There is little left to harvest, just some straggly zinnias, the last gasp of peppers, the perennial herbs, and green tomatoes.

With news of the first hard frost approaching, it was time to clean the plots. I had collected some tomatoes but not enough to do anything with until I received a call from my neighbor offering me their green tomatoes and the remainder of the Swiss chard for the chickens. It was serendipitous; now I had enough to can.

I decided to try my hand at green tomato salsa. A quick page-through of the Ball canning book helped create the following recipe. I figured a salsa would get more use than a chutney (my second choice) or even a vegetarian mince (inspired by my Irish friend).

Here is my recipe: 

Green Tomato Salsa

Try this zesty green tomato salsa as an alternative to a ripe tomato salsa for an easy appetizer.

  • Prep Time: 80h
  • Cook Time: 20h


  • 6 pounds of green tomatoes, de-seeded, cored and chopped
  • 3 jalapenos finely chopped (remove seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 yellow onions finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of pickling salt
  • 4 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • the juice and zest from 2 small lime
  • 1/2 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
  • One medium handful of fresh cilantro (you can add more to taste)


  1. Cook the green tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, canned chilies, garlic, salt, cumin, and apple cider vinegar in a sturdy, stock pot. You want the tomato mixture to come to a boil and basically have the tomatoes become soft enough to puree. After about 15 to 20 minutes cool the mixture and puree in blender. Then add your sugar bit by bit, tasting as you go. I puree the cilantro roughly with a bit of the tomato mixture. Then I add the cilantro mix to the batch of pureed tomatoes.


    How to can:

    1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside. LADLE hot salsa into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. PROCESS filled jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

    Canning is always evocative of one of my favorite Fall stories, “An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving.” It is my favorite of all of Louisa May Alcott’s works. Here is the passage I love,

    “November had come; the crops were in, and barn, buttery, and bin were overflowing with the harvest that rewarded the summer’s hard work. The big kitchen was a jolly place just now, for in the great fireplace roared a cheerful fire; on the walls hung garlands of dried apples, onions, and corn; up aloft from the beams shone crook-necked squashes, juicy hams, and dried venison–for in those days deer still haunted the deep forests, and hunters flourished. Savory smells were in the air; on the crane hung steaming kettles, and down among the red embers copper saucepans simmered, all suggestive of some approaching feast.”

    The idea of putting away my harvest for food for the impending winter is very satisfying.

    7th swan pantry.jpg

    Thanks to 7 swans for the inspirational pantry post

    I wish this were my pantry. There is something special about home canned foods. It’s economical, healthy and just satisfying to look upon something you made. I’ve found that people seem to like preserves as gifts.

    Do you can? What is your favorite thing to put up?

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    8 Comments on "End of the Harvest Green Tomato Salsa"

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    Yes, we do can, a lot. My jar storage looks much like your picture, though my husband added a lip to each shelf. Nothing hangs over the edge, or stacks.

    My favorite item to can is probably pickle relish. It uses up the too-big cucumbers, it smells good and in the jar it looks so festive with it’s bright green and red colors.


    Also, I’ve never tried any green tomato recipes as I bring in all my green tomatoes and let them ripen to red. We brought in at least 1000 a couple weeks ago when we started having frost and almost every one has gone red. Just a few more green lingering. I just core and quarter these and cook and sieve into juice and into jam.
    A lot of them are small, like pingpong ball size, but they all do ripen.


    Hi, how do you work the reply mode? Nothing happens with the reply link.

    My pickle relish recipe is in the Ball Blue Book of canning. I have never used anything else and I have used it as long as I can remember. Do you have that book?


    Oh, I put them on tables, on top of dish towels. We have a bunch of those folding banquet tables and I set them up wherever there is room. Pick off the stem, if there is still one on, and put them stem side down. I always make a fruit fly trap for each area, just to be safe. Some of the tomatoes will be red already or partially red and those encourage the greens to change.

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