Blueberry Salsa Tests

Hi everybody! Let me introduce myself. I am Meryl of My Bit of Earth, and the Apronista has generously agreed to let me fill in today, while she enjoys her vacation.

Today’s topic: Blueberry Salsa!

Last year, for the first time ever, I entered the fresh salsa competition at my local county fair. Using this cranberry salsa recipe, I won third place.

Clearly, the fruit thing worked–in fact, I was the only person to show up with a non-tomato based salsa–so I wanted to use fruit again this year. Earlier this month I decided on blueberries, since they’re super fresh and sweet right now. Then I began researching recipes.

I was looking for something sweet, but with a little kick behind it to make sure everyone that tasted it would know it was salsa, not dessert. I eventually settled on three different recipes, which I made test batches of this weekend–a mango salsa, a more traditional salsa, and a melon salsa. The results?

(Note: The original recipes can be found at the links above, my modified versions are below. All three recipes are “chop and mix” unless otherwise noted.)
First up–the mango salsa. It contains:

  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • 1 cup halved blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup each chopped cilantro and basil
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 T red pepper flake
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste

Even though it’s a small amount, I could really taste the vinegar in this one. It drowned out the flavor of the mango, and made the salsa sweet, sweet, sweet. I tripled the amount of pepper even, but it still wasn’t enough to cut through.

Although this one didn’t taste bad, in the end it just wasn’t what I’m looking for.

Next up–the more traditional salsa. I call this one “the traditional one” because, if I were making tomato salsa, I would make it just like this with tomatoes instead of blueberries. This one contains:

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, roasted with skin removed, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups halved blueberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 small red pepper, chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup each chopped cilantro and basil
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T fresh, diced ginger
  • salt and pepper, to taste

This one won the “fire” points of the bunch. It was pleasantly spicy, but–unless I bit directly into a blueberry–there wasn’t much sweetness at all. It actually tasted pretty much just like fresh tomato salsa. Again, this wasn’t bad, but it isn’t what I’m going for either.

Blueberry salsa number three–and the winner–is the melon salsa. It contains:

  • 1 1/2 cups halved blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
  • zest and juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • salt and red pepper flake, to taste

When I was a little girl, my Mom used to fix cantaloupe with just a little bit of salt on it. When this salsa is all dressed out on a tortilla chip, that is exactly the sweet/savory background flavor you get. Mixed with that is the sweetness of the blueberries and lime, which is complemented perfectly by just the right spiciness from the jalapeno and pepper flake.

It’s definitely my favorite of the bunch–hope the judges think so too!

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