Fugly tomato salsa

A variety of tomatoes with scars and lumps

When one breaks off an entire branch of a tomato plant they need to think of something to make it right. I would not be able to sleep knowing I stopped 5 innocent tomatoes from fulfilling their destiny.  Luckily I had already picked a bunch of “misfits” earlier that day so they all went into a pot together. This pile of tomatoes looked like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

This fugly salsa was an experiment so as I cooked and made adjustments I wrote everything down. I think it was a total success and this will be a new recipe in my rotation. Also, knowing I can use the green and blemished tomatoes for something yummy makes me happy.


8 cups chopped tomatoes (the uglier the better)
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped red pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 cup vinegar (This is if you are planning to can the salsa. If you are eating it right away, I would leave it out as it does change the taste.)
1 tsp salt
1 tbs white granulated sugar
1/4 tsp powdered habanero
1/3 cup fresh cilantro (optional)

Prepping the tomatoes:

1. Immerse whole washed tomatoes into boiling water for a few moments until the skin cracks and peels up. Once this happens move the tomato into a waiting bowl of ice water. Peel the rest of the skin off with your fingers.

Variety of tomatoes in a boiling water bath

Since I used 4 different kinds of tomato at various stages of ripening I had to watch the pot to see each tomato peel back. The green ones took a few minutes while the ripe white and red ones were almost instant.

2. Core and remove any blemishes or hard spots.

3. Chop the tomatoes into very small pieces and leave them in a colander to drain water while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Tomatoes cooling in iced water


Fugly salsa simmering1. Chop the onions, peppers, and garlic into very small pieces and put them in a large pot.

2. Add the drained tomatoes, lime juice, vinegar, salt, and habanero chili powder to the pot. Add the cilantro now if you plan to use it.

3. Boil for about 20 minutes to reduce the amount of liquid. It will be very liquidy to start off.

4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until you have your desired consistency.

5. Turn the pot off and set it aside to cool. Store the salsa in the refrigerator.

Fugly salsa final product
Finished product!




  • Show Comments (2)

  • ginasjoys

    I love fugly tomatoes! Great post.

    • shanniebananie

      Thank you 🙂

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