Poblano Cilantro Salsa

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I enjoy canning salsa. What I don’t enjoy is spending hours chopping veggies into tiny pieces. Yes, I love to cook and one batch of salsa like this is fun, but six or seven? No thanks.

So this presented a bit of a problem. That was, until I started making Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff which I reviewed last year.

First of all, it tastes awesome, slightly sweet, but spicy. Second, there is no chopping! Well, very minimal chopping. The blender does all the work. As a result, after cooking you end up with a thick, but somewhat smooth salsa.

I’ve been making a lot of salsa this summer so I’ve had ample opportunity to experiment with the recipe by substituting peppers or adding herbs, all while keeping the important acidity the same.

New Mexico Centennial Pepper – just for fun and looks

As I mentioned earlier this summer, we planted 19 varieties of pepper plants. Some were just for fun and out of curiosity. Others were to help us learn exactly what we want to grow in the future, based on what I use most in the kitchen.

Poblanos are a keeper. This is the first year we’ve grown them and I’ve learned they have the perfect spiciness and cook well whether baked, broiled or grilled. So of course they had to make it into the salsa.

One of my favorite varieties this summer has been poblano and cilantro. As for tomatoes I’ve used heirlooms and San Marzanos, even mixed them here and there and all work out well.

This is great for a big party. Just cook it up, cool and serve, or if no such occasion is coming up, can it for later use.

Poblano Cilantro Salsa
Adapted from Charred Tomato and Chile Salsa, Canning for a New Generation

5 lbs tomatoes, cored and halved
8 oz Poblano peppers, halved, stems and seeds removed
2 oz garlic cloves, peeled
1 lb 6 oz candy onions (or any sweet variety), peeled and quartered
½ cup cider vinegar (5% acidity)
1 tbsp canning salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and loosely packed

Place the tomatoes cut side down on a baking sheet. With the broiler on high, broil for 10 minutes until the skins begin to blacken. Meanwhile on a separate baking sheet, place the peppers cut side down and spread out the garlic and onions into a single layer.

Remove the tomatoes from the broiler and set aside until cool enough to handle. Broil the peppers, garlic and onions for 10 minutes on high.

Remove the skins from the tomatoes and process in batches in the blender with the peppers, onion and garlic. Pulse to chop all the veggies, but don’t puree completely. Pour the processed veggies into a large stock pot.

Add the vinegar, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Remove from heat, cool and serve. Store in the fridge and use within 3 days.

If canning, process in pints with a ½ inch headspace in a boiling water bath covering the jars by at least one inch. Process for 40 minutes. Makes 4 pints, maybe a little to spare depending on the type of tomatoes.

If you have questions about home-based microprocessing, the best resource around is the National Center for Home Food Preservation at the University of Georgia. Their FAQ page will likely answer any question you come up with.

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  1. says

    The salsa looks awesome. I really need to get into making my own salsa and jarring it up for later. I can;t believe you grow all those peppers. I didn’t even realize there were so many kinds. I wish we had the space for a garden, but now we have even less space in Japan than we did in Portugal…a lot less.

  2. says

    Melinda – The peppers are just be not having any control at the plant shop. Ha! I didn’t know there were so many either and couldn’t stop buying! I need to catch up on your move!

    Deb – Thanks! They are definitely a keeper. As the years pass I think we’ll narrow it down to a few favorites!

    emily – The process is such a great one. I’ve sworn off all other salsas and just keep playing around with this one.

  3. says

    I should shamelessly beg you to send me a jar of this! Bird’s eye and smaller types of fresh chilies are common here, but not beautiful big chiles, like poblano. I brought bags of dried chiles just to make sure I didn’t suffer withdrawal. I envy you your beautiful garden of peppers and would sincerely love a taste of this salsa!

  4. says

    I just love salsa and poblanos are some of my favorites, I’ll have to find some and try to find the time to make my own. In the meantime its padron pepper time here and perfect as I am researching Spain. Thanks for the inspiration