Lone Star Salsa

Posted by Bill Hettig on 31st May 2015

Lone Star Salsa

A two-quart batch of our Lone Star Salsa starter will make ten or more quarts of salsa—just when you’re ready. And for pennies on the dollar over store bought, pasteurized brands. There is a good punch of chiles in this version, but fermenting them yields a medium spice level.

Prep Time: 45 mins Jar Size: 2 quarts


  • 4 cups jalapeno chiles (20+ large), seeded, deveined, finely diced
  • 2 cups onions or scallions, finely chopped
  • 4-5 cups bell pepper, green or mixed, finely chopped
  • 4 TBS. garlic (10-12 cloves), chopped
  • 1-½ cups celery, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. coriander seed, dry toasted in skillet and ground, or coriander powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin seed, dry toasted in skillet and ground, or cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. chipotle’ chile powder (or to taste)
  • Brine: 4 cups spring water + 2 Tbsp. Celtic Sea Salt® or other premium brand
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar, raw unfiltered is best

After Fermentation:

  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped, drained in sieve
  • lime - 4 TBS. juice and 2 tsp. zest, finely minced
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, large stems removed, chopped
  • ¼ cup good olive oil


  1. Combine all vegetables and seasonings (1st 9 ingredients) in a large bowl, mix well.
  2. Load into a clean 2 quart wide mouth jar, tamping down lightly until 2 inches from top of jar.
  3. Pour vinegar into jar.
  4. Make brine by dissolving salt in water (TIP: put room temperature water & salt into another jar, secure lid and shake vigorously).
  5. Pour brine over vegetables; gently wiggle jar to release all air bubbles. Continue filling until approximately ½ inch below the lip of the jar.
  6. Press brine overflow cup into jar until just level with jar rim. (TIP: you may want to do this with jar in your sink as some brine should spill over).
  7. Allow cup to float as you clean off veggie/seasoning debris from jar rim to ensure good seal.
  8. Twist on Perfect Pickler® lid until just hand snug.
  9. Pour tap water into airlock to the max line and gently twist into lid.
  10. Place in cool location (68-74 degrees) and wait patiently for 4 days!

After Fermentation: To 2 cups of starter add the remaining ingredients; refrigerate 2 hours & serve.

Meal Maker suggestion: use this starter to make a delicious Gazpacho-Salsa Soup!

Created by Bill Hettig, adapted from recipe by Wendy Jackson