Take A Peek At My Pico

 

Pico De Gallo

 

I love the fresh produce available in the summer months.  It always tastes better than the stuff we buy here in Seattle during the winter, which I suppose has a lot to do with harvesting and transporting it closer to home.

 

One of my favorite summer veggie dishes is Pico De Gallo.  Now, if by some chance you’re unfamiliar with Pico De Gallo, it’s a traditional Mexican condiment made from tomatoes, onions, and jalapeño or Serrano chili peppers.  Pico tastes great with chips, but it’s also fantastic as an add-on to any number of dishes like tacos, burritos, steaks, salmon, and many casseroles.

 

There are a variety of ingredients you can add to “Pico” so I’ll mention a few as we go.

 

Let’s Gather The Ingredients:

 

Don't forget the chili peppers.

There's nothing like fresh veggies.

For today’s recipe we’ll need:

 

3 to 4 ripened tomatoes chopped

3/4 to 1 whole sweet onion chopped (yellow onions also work, but have a stronger flavor so adjust as needed.

1 ripened nectarine chopped (mango is a great alternative and perhaps more traditional)

1-3 fresh jalapeño peppers diced (these come mild to hot—start with 1 and add more if you want your Pico to be spicier)

1 bunch of fresh chopped cilantro (about a quarter to half cup chopped up)

1 lime (for the juice)

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparing It

 

If you have a food processor or mini chop a lot of the preparation for this dish can go faster, but I actually prefer using a knife and cutting board.  I don’t mind that it takes a little longer as I enjoy the process, plus I don’t like the extra noise those processers generate.

 

Let the excess run into the drain.

As I cut up my veggies I put them in a strainer and let the excess juice run off.

I usually start by cutting up my tomatoes.  Once cut, I’ll set them in a strainer in the sink and allow the extra juice to drain off while I’m preparing everything else.  I’ve found draining my Pico keeps it from being sloppy wet when it comes time to serve it.  Hint:  If you stir it from time to time as you add in the other ingredients it’ll help the liquid settle to the bottom.

 

After the tomatoes, chop and add in the onions and nectarine.  I like a nectarine or mango in my Pico because I think the sweetness makes for an excellent contrast to the bite of the peppers.  I know some people prefer their Pico without adding a sweet fruit so try it both ways to see how you like it.  A veggie alternative that cuts some of the bite of the peppers is cucumber, so I’ll sometimes add that, instead.

 

 

We're getting close, now.

Watch out for the seeds, they're hot!

When I prepare my peppers, I slice them down the middle and remove the seeds first.  Then I chop them up.  If you leave the seeds in, your Pico will be much, much spicier.  Take care not to inhale as you slice into your peppers as they often release a bit of gas that’ll sting and make your eyes water (think pepper spray).  Add the peppers to the rest.  Hint:  I sometimes add half my peppers, and then taste my Pico before adding more.  That way it’s much easier to control the strength of the spice.

 

I can hardly wait...the pico de gallo is ready.

Sqeeze a little fresh lime over the top, then add salt and pepper to taste.

After adding the peppers, add the cilantro, squeeze the juice from a fresh lime over the top, and then salt and pepper to taste.

 

I love my pico de gallo with tortilla chips.

Try it with chips or use it as a delicious garnish in almost any recipe.

This recipe makes a large bowl of Pico De Gallo which will be great if served with tortilla chips or if added to other recipes as a garnish.  However, it’s delicious all on its own, too.

 

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy!

 

What’s better than Pico De Gallo?  How about Pico with Guacamole?
Read: In Search Of The Perfect Guacamole

Or for more recipe ideas visit our new Recipe page by clicking here.

 

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