Winning Salsa Contest Recipes, 2008

Meg Torrence, Melanie Bailey, and Victoria Colongione were the winner's in the "raw" salsa catagory in the 2008 Salsa Competition.  Presented below are their recipes.  The "cooked" and "specialty" recipes follow.

All recipes are reproduced as written by the contestants

1st Place • Meg Torrence
“Spotlight Salsa”

1 cup chopped fresh garden tomatoes
6 tomatillos
1 green tomato
1 onion
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 jalapeno
¼ (one quarter) cup fresh cilantro
4-5 cloves garlic
1 fresh chopped yellow tomato
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp. salt
½ (one half) tsp. smokey paprika


2nd Place • Melanie Bailey
‘Cin-Gin Pear Salsa’

1 large vine ripe red tomato
2 medium yellow tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes
½ (one half) red pear (peeled)
½ (one half) Bartlett pear (peeled)
1 large jalapeno
½ (one half) red onion
2 cloves pressed garlic
½ (one half) cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
½ (one half) tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh minced ginger
1/8 tsp. (one eighth) ground red pepper
juice from 1 lime

Finely chop everything and mix all ingredients together. Makes 4 cups.


3rd Place • Victoria Colongione  
* Owner of Bella Cucina at 506 West 4th St.

10 roma tomatoes, diced
3 small heirloom tomatoes, diced
1 sweet banana pepper, diced
1 small tomatilla, diced
½ (one half) yellow bell pepper, diced
½ (one half) red bell pepper, diced
½ (one half) large red onion, diced
1 medium jalapeno, diced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
1 t. sugar
1.5 t. salt
½ (on half) t. black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne
1 T white vinegar
juice of ½ (one half) lime
1 T. olive oil
garnish with fresh basil


José Espericueta, Baylie Gray, and Kayte Young were the winner's in the "cooked" salsa catagory in the 2008 Salsa Competition.  Presented below are their recipes.  

1st Place • Jose Espericueta
‘Ramblin’ Rosie’s Smokey Roasted Salsa’

15-18 assorted tomatoes (roma, heirloom)
18 cherry tomatoes
3 anaheim chilies
1 red bell pepper
2 jalapenos
½ (one half) red onion
3 green onions
¼ (one fourth) cup chopped cilantro
1 and one half cans tomato sauce
juice of 1 lime
salt and oregano to taste

Halve tomatoes and skewer cherry tomatoes.
Quarter and seed bell pepper.
Brush tomatoes, pepper, chilies, and red onion with vegetable oil.
Wrap onion in foil.
Place on grill with 2 mesquite wood chips that have soaked in water for an hour.
Cook until skins easily fall off.
Chop all ingredients and place in bowl.
Let cool and add tomato sauce.
Add chopped green onion and cilantro and season to taste.


2nd Place • Baylie Gray

Dice and then sauté:
3 peppers of any variety, sweet
2 onions
1 jalapeno pepper
Add on medium heat for 10 minutes:
6 large tomatoes cut up in small pieces
Drain extra water off top

Add to taste ¼ cup hot sauce
Add cilantro to taste


3rd Place • Kayte Young
‘Bee in Yr Bonnet Salsa’

2 quarts peeled, red sliced tomatoes (from Farmers’ Market)
5 tomatillos (from neighbor’s garden)
2 bunches cilantro
2 onions
12 oz. tomato paste
3 roasted sweet peppers (1 yellow, 1 red) (from Farmers’ Market)
chili peppers: 9 Scotch Bonnets
8 Hot Wax
1 Mr. Purple (from our garden and Farmers’ Market)
1/3 (one third) cup minced garlic (Farmers’ Market)
juice of two limes
zest of one lime
1 T cumin
1 T salt
2 squirts honey (local)

• Local produce used if available. Cilantro purchased from Bloomingfoods [local has bolted by the time of the contest].
• Chile peppers, cilantro and lime were added late in the cooking process.
• All safe food prep procedures were followed.


Tom Neal, Bill Adam, and José Espericueta were the winner's in the "specialty" salsa catagory in the 2008 Salsa Competition.  Presented below are the recipes for their delicious salsas.

1st Place • Tom Neal
 ‘Salsa Desesperación’

3 firm mangos
1 whole peeled cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 medium red onion
1 habanero chile
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 T chopped mint
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T sea salt
1 T crushed cumin seeds
10 twists fresh black pepper
* juice of 2 limes
* 1 T pear-infused vinegar


2nd Place • Bill Adam
‘Guasano Pedre’

Wash and stem 4 large bunches of cilantro. Place cilantro in food processor along with 10 cloves garlic, 1 half cup olive oil, 1 half cup white vinegar, 1 half cup cold water, 2 teaspoons sea salt, and 12 guasano peppers. Process until finely chopped. Makes one quart.

A note from Susan Welsand, “the Chili Woman”: The peppers Bill used were arrivivi gusano (little worm). They are from Bolivia and I first got my seeds when a grower from Exoticus Nursery visited me --oh--back when the Farmers’ Market was still at the library. They are very hot but with wonderful addictive flavor.


3st Place • José Espericueta
Blueberry Salsa

2 c. quartered blueberries
½ (1 half) c. whole blueberries
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 (1 third) large red onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
¼ (1 fourth) cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Extra spice can be added, using dry powdered chile.