Bloomingfoods and the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department cohosted the 24th annual Salsa Contest during the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market on August 25.

The Salsa Contest staff says it “always takes place at the end of August when tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers are at the height of their glory. We encourage contestants to focus on local ingredients when they can, including heirloom tomatoes, garlic, and hot or sweet peppers. Many specialty salsas make use of local peaches, berries, or other fruit.”

The teams of judges were made up of local foodies, one of which was Bloom‘s very own food editor Christine Barbour. The salsas were judged in three categories—cooked, raw, and specialty.

We recently posted the winners of the Cooked Salsa and Raw Salsa categories, which brings us to the final category of recipes: Specialty Salsa.


Contest Winners 2012: Specialty Salsa

Judging team for specialty salsa: Christine Barbour, Tim Clougher, Susan Welsand

1st Place: Adam Dick

4 mangos
2 pineapples
6 peaches
2 tomatoes
6 sweet peppers
6 serrano peppers
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons cilantro
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons agave nectar

Dice fruit and veggies and combine with other ingredients.

Judges’ comments: Fruity, spicy, delicious. Nice balance of fruit and heat. Nice fruit blend.


2nd Place: Harold Adkisson

2 English cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 green and red poblano pepper, diced
12 cups green onions, sliced
4 teaspoons brown sugar
Juice of lime
6-8 teaspoons honey
2 cloves garlic
1-2 teaspoons ginger, fresh or jarred
4 pequin chiles, slice 2 and leave 2 whole
2-3 star anise, leave whole
2 lemon-drop or jalapeño chiles, sliced
1 teaspoon 5-spice seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek
Handful chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Mix well.

Judges’ comments: Exotic, star anise! Unique ingredients. Intriguing!


3rd Place: Luz Lopez
“Salsa Verde”

2 pounds tomatillos
3 jalapeño peppers
1 avocado
1 medium onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 bunch cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil

1) Mix unwrapped tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, garlic, 1/4 of the onion, 1/2 bunch of cilantro with salt and blend together.

2) Fry 1/4 onion with olive oil and add sauce mixture. Cook for 20 minutes. Let cool for 2 hours. When ready to serve, add 1/2 onion very finely cut, 1/2 bunch cilantro very finely cut, 1 avocado cut into small pieces.

Judges’ comments: Livin’ on the salt edge, but delicious! Salt, cubed. Yum, cilantro!