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August 3, 2013 / mintcustard

Pico de gallo

pico chips

Sunshine brings out the best in many of us. It also brings out the barbecues. On a hot sticky day I’d much rather cook the evening tea outside than put the oven on and melt slowly over the kitchen floor. The trouble is, so programmed am I to having barbecues for large gatherings and over a whole afternoon/evening that I feel I need to provide some sort of pre dinner canapé or amuse bouche even if I’m simple char grilling some vegetables for a quick pasta sauce. Dips and nibbles often come to my rescue. A can of chickpeas whizzed up with lemon and tahini might fit the bill, mind you a dollop of sour cream, the same of mayonnaise and a few snips of fresh chives can do just as well. My absolute favourite is Pico do gallo. A very fresh, Mexican influenced salsa I first came across on travels to the southern states of the USA. When tortilla chips come to the table in the UK they are often heavily seasoned and have a deep red seemingly ketchup based salsa in a ramekin next to them. Not so in Dallas or San Diego. The crimson gloop is replaced by a fresh and zingy salsa fresca. The tortilla chips are thinner and barely salted. Merely a way to get the salsa to your month as quickly as possible. When ever I pop a dish of this down for guests to share someone always wants the recipe. A firm favourite and deceptively simple, but as a friend at today’s BBQ said as he polished off a big bowl of the stuff, the simple things are often the best. As there is no cooking you spend time chopping. The chop needs to be fairly fine, Use a really sharp knife, it makes life easier. A traditional Pico de gallo only has onion, tomato, chilli, lime and coriander. You can however add what you want, I added a pepper for the colour contrast and because I had one that needed using up. You could add seeded cucumber, mango, tomatillo or papaya if you wanted too.

Pico de gallo, (salsa fresca)

1 red onion very finely diced

4 tomatoes seeded and finely diced

1 orange pepper seeded and finely diced

1 large green chilli seeded and finely diced

juice of 1 lime coriander  as much as you like finely chopped including the stalks

salt

pico bowl

How to

  • Chop all your ingredients as finely as possible.
  • stir together in a big non reactive bowl.
  • Press down on the lime, roll your lime over the worksurface to get maximum amount of juice from it.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice into the vegetables, season with salt, taste and season again if needed.
  • Serve with simply salted tortilla chips.
  • Do not Double dip!

If you live near a Costco and have a membership, or know someone who does, their Kirkland brand of Tortilla chips are just right for this recipe. They also come in  1.1kg bags, which will keep you going for an hour or so!

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. gaskella / Aug 4 2013 8:16 am

    So much nicer than salsa out of a jar. 🙂

    • mintcustard / Aug 4 2013 8:23 am

      Very much nicer, I don’t like ketchup so I’m not a huge fan of salsa in a jar anyway. This salsa is addictive though so be warned.

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