Last weekend, my buddy, Mike, & I judged 2 ICS (International Chili Society) Regional Salsa Cookoffs in Snowmass. Naturally, there were some very, very good salsas. Judging is tough – you have to pick a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place – no ties allowed. It’s a grueling job … but somebody’s gotta do it! I left inspired to make my own winning salsas at home.
The first competition had a runaway winner – it was a salsa I could just eat and eat straight out of the bowl. An interesting thing about it is that it was a really good well-rounded fresh salsa … with small bits of avocado throughout. That small amount of avocado was a great touch – it just seemed to make it more full-flavored and resulted in a particularly satisfying texture.
That recipe is not published, but I decided to try out the 2014 World Champion Salsa by Barbara Ward. It has a similar makeup of ingredients, but no avocado. I followed the recipe exactly and then made my own version by reducing the serranos a bit and adding hot green chiles (Sandia) and avocado. Yum! See photo below for my variation.
As with most salsa recipes, go easy on the lime juice, chiles, salt, and spices, and then adjust to taste.
- 1 15 oz can of Hunt's Tomato Sauce
- 5 cups diced ripe tomatoes (about 6-8 tomatoes)
- 1 cup chopped green onions (about 1 bunch)
- 1 cup diced mild sweet onion (1 medium)
- ⅔ cup diced red onion (about ½ onion)
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced yellow bell pepper
- ½ cup diced orange bell pepper
- 2 medium Jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 4-6 Serrano peppers, seeded and minced (add slowly to taste / adjust heat)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp pressed garlic
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- salt to taste (about ¼ tsp)
- lime juice to taste (about 1 lime)
- optional: 2 avocados, diced; ¼ cup diced hot green chiles & reduce Serranos by approximately 1 Serrano (adjust to taste)
- In a large bowl, combine and mix all ingredients except lime juice and salt.
- Let mixture stand for 15-20 minutes. Add the salt & lime juice to taste and serve. If desired, add avocado and green chiles.