John Foliot’s Salsa

The first in a series of posts that bring together the two sides of my blog: Food and technology. I’ve asked the great and the good from the web standards
to share their favourite recipes. This gorgeous salsa recipe is from John Foliot.


A lot of salsa.


  • 20lb/9kg fresh tomatoes (I prefer Roma).
  • 24 assorted hot peppers (ideally Jalapeño, but any hot pepper will do).
  • 6 medium sized onions.
  • 12 Tomatillos.
  • 4 cloves of garlic (peeled).
  • 4tbsp salt.
  • 1cup/240ml vinegar.
  • 3/4cup/180ml olive oil.
  • 1/4cup/60g sugar.
  • 1/2cup/40g each of fresh cut basil, cilantro (coriander), and parsley leaves.


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in tomatoes to scald briefly then drain and remove skins. Chop finely and transfer to a large colander.
  2. Trim tops off peppers and chop coarsely. Add to the tomatoes.
  3. Chop onions, garlic, and tomatillos finely, add to tomatoes.
  4. Stir in salt and allow to sit and drain for 2 to 3 hours (this reduces the water content and leaves you with more tomato ‘meat’).
  5. After draining, give a few good stirs, then add the oil, vinegar, sugar and herbs. Transfer to a large pot and cook over Medium heat until it bubbles.
  6. Enjoy fresh or pack into hot, sterilized jars and process for canning.

John’s notes

I’ve had this recipe for years now: I don’t recall exactly where it came from, but I dug it out of one of my mother’s old recipe books back in the early
’90’s. In those days I owned an old house in the country (just outside of Ottawa, Canada) where I had a silly-sized vegetable garden – it measured something like
12 ft X 40 ft and I grew so many tomatoes and hot peppers that I harvested them in a wheel-barrow (in fact, I ended up growing all of the ingredients for
this recipe in my garden, including the garlic and herbs). Each Autumn I would settle into a production-mode weekend where I canned dozens of quart Mason
jars of this salsa – enough to supply me for the full year and also give away to family, friends and neighbors.

While the fresh salsa is great straight out of the pot, I found that the canned salsa mellowed and melded the flavors, which I preferred. Enjoy!

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