farmers market image

For the past several years now my husband and I have canned salsa. Our desire to can salsa was driven by our love of spicy food and the beautiful roma tomatoes that we’d spy on our weekly trips to the farmers market. Our salsa making usually takes place in early fall, sometime during September or October.

The first year we purchased 5 pounds of roma tomatoes. This resulted in about 10 cups of salsa. Not nearly enough. Since that first year, we’ve increased how much we make (up to 20 pints). We’ve also fine-tuned the recipe and if we do say so ourselves (as do many of our friends and family) it is damn tasty!

This year our ingredient buying trip to the farmers market took place in early September. We had talked with the vendors the previous week to ensure the ingredients would be at their peak. First up, the key ingredient, roma tomatoes. We have purchased our tomatoes from Deep Roots Farm for several years running. Towards the end of the tomato season they offer 20 pounds of tomatoes for 20 bucks.

The tomatoes this year were incredible; bright red, juicy, full of flavor. Chelsea was extremely helpful and weighed out 27 pounds worth for us. We like to “share the love” at the market and try to buy from a variety of vendors. Next on our list, peppers. We use a variety of fresh peppers including jalapeno, habanero, and poblano.

We secured the jalapenos from the Gathering Together Farm (that’s me and Vanessa pictured). The poblanos came from Spring Hill Farms. The habaneros had to come from our local grocery store as none were to be had at the market. We have added tomatillos into the mix over the years as we find they provide a mellowing aspect. This year we used 2 1/2 pounds of tomatillos from Persephone Farm. We also bought the garlic and cilantro from them. With our shopping bags overflowing with produce we sat for awhile to listen to Shorty and the Mustangs band serenade the crowd with their western swing.

There are three important elements of our salsa making: fresh, local ingredients, fire roasting, and having fun! We put the tunes on, open up the door and windows, light the grill, and get cooking!

Here’s the recipe for Hill y Rhodes Salsa 2013:

  • Apple cider vinegar 6 fl oz
  • Chipotle peppers 14 oz
  • Cilantro 1 bunch
  • Extra virgin Olive oil 1 fl oz
  • Habanero 1.25 oz
  • Jalapeno 1 lb
  • Lime juice 10.5 fl oz
  • Garlic og 3.75 oz
  • Onion white 9.5 oz
  • Onion yellow 15.25 oz
  • Poblano pepper 11 oz
  • Tomatillo 2.5 lb
  • Tomato Roma 27 lb
  • Salt 1 oz

What separates our salsa from others is fire roasting the vegetables. Not to mention the fact that our salsa is created from our love of cooking and sharing with others!

Next up: Could we earn a living selling our salsa?