Meatless, Quick, Snacks, Summer

Pico de Gallo

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Disclaimer: I have made this recipe approximately twelve billion times. It doesn’t count toward the project, but I will be posting my favorite recipes from time-to-time, project be damned. Posts such as these won’t be numbered, like the new recipes, and I’ll still be posting the pork chops this weekend as my first official recipe of the project.

But I had to share this with you, so you can make it, quickly, before summer ends!

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Some pico de gallo recipes have shrimp in them, some avocado, mango, etc. Some are just tomato, white onion & chili peppers. So, if you read this recipe and think “That is NOT pico de gallo,” you are probably right – there seems to be an incredible number of varieties.

I eat this on quesadillas, tortilla chips, and on toast with queso fresco. Don’t forget to mash up an avocado on the side, to dip your chips in, too! Or make guacamole.

I prefer to mash an avocado with a little cilantro, garlic salt, lime & sour cream, for a creamy avocado dip. Then, I cover it with the pico de gallo, and go to town with a bag of tortilla chips. The phrase “go to town” is misleading, considering “going to town” on a bag of tortilla chips and pico de gallo usually involves pajamas, and watching TV, at home.

If there’s something special you love to eat pico de gallo with, please tell me, so I can try it, too.

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Pico de Gallo

1 large mixing bowl, saran wrap

1 large onion

1 large orange pepper

5 – 7 medium-to-large tomatoes

1 large lemon

a bunch of cilantro

sea salt

red pepper flakes

Short instructions: chop everything up, mix it all together, eat.

Long (insightful, brilliantly wordsmithed) instructions: Get a large mixing bowl. Chop the onion, bell pepper and tomatoes as finely or as roughly as you like (I chop the onion finely, and the tomatoes and bell pepper roughly), and mix them together in the bowl. I recommend using a yellow onion, for flavor reasons, and an orange pepper, for color reasons. It’s very pretty.

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I don’t even know how to verbally differentiate between hot chili peppers and the blander variety, the kind you chop up and eat with vegetable dip? Get the bland kind. Some countries call them “capsicum.”

Wait! I think they’re called bell peppers! Look ma, no hands.

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Chop the cilantro (again, fine or rough – my preference is a rough chop). I like so much roughly chopped cilantro in my pico de gallo, that it’s basically a salad green. I often use the whole big bunch, but it’s up to you. Mix in the cilantro.

Now, lemons. Halve and remove as many seeds as you can from the lemons. Squeeze the shit out of those lemon halves and then swear a lot, because now you have to fish the pesky seeds – that were hiding little bastards in the removal phase – out of the bowl of pico, like an idiot.

Or use a separate bowl if you’re feeling smart, and follow these instructions.

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Generously salt, and err on the side of caution with the red pepper flakes, if you are the type of person who is apprehensive about spiciness. I use 1/2 a tablespoon, for a mild flavor. If you love heat and want as much as the universe has to offer – add tons of red pepper flakes, and a diced chili pepper or two, to boot.

Here is why I don’t add hot peppers: I like to let my pico de gallo sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before I dig in. Why? The flavors deepen, and the heat starts rising…

Also, I find that if I eat it right away, I think “Oh! This is so mild! I’m going to keep adding chili flakes…and maybe some cumin…” And then two days later, I try to eat it, and my eyeballs fall out of my head. My feelings on pico de gallo are this: I’m in it for the fresh flavors, not to burn my mouth – that’s what cooked salsa, and hot sauce, are for. In short, if you like it on the hot side, beware! It gets hotter over time.

Now that you’ve mixed everything together, cover the bowl with saran wrap and let it sit in your fridge for 24 hours. Or, dig in right away. I won’t tell anyone.

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FYI: The surprising thing about pico de gallo (or, at least, surprising to me) is that it lasts quite a long while in the fridge – about 2 weeks and then some, as long as it’s covered well.

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One thought on “Pico de Gallo

  1. Pingback: Fully Loaded Nachos | Holistic Health Vegan

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