Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pico de Gallo, or Homemade Salsa

So many wonderfully fresh fruits and vegetables peak in season during the summer, one namely being the tomato. The right climate can produce tomatoes that are so plump and juicy, you can eat them like an apple. There are tomatoes on the vine, cherry tomatoes, heirloom, beefsteak - just to name a few.

According to Bon Appetit, the redder, the better, as the deeper color indicates more of the cancer-fighting antioxidants, so head for the red!

There are so many different things you can do with a wonderfully ripe tomato. Here, I decided to make some Pico de Gallo and Homemade Salsa.

It's really easy to make freshly homemade salsa, and homemade means that you can make it as mild or spicy, chunky or smooth, as you would like, depending upon your preference. This simple recipe makes for an enjoyable guilt-free dipper.

2 Tomatoes
1 Large Shallot
1 Large Garlic Clove, or 2-3 Small Cloves
1/3 cup of Cilantro
1 Jalapeño
1/2 Lime

To make Pico de Gallo...

Chop up the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño. Squeeze in the lime juice and then toss. That's it!

To make Homemade Salsa...

For more of a puree type salsa, bring out your blender or food processor.  Toss the Pico de Gallo into the food processor and then add a few seasonings* of your choice.

* My recommendations would be to add some onion salt, a touch of garlic powder, and maybe a little hot sauce (or a lot!). Some like to add cumin or oregano, depending on your taste preference, which does give the salsa a more authentic Mexican taste. And of course, a dash of salt and dash of pepper always does the trick!

The flavors marry as the salsa refrigerates, so the salsa is at its best on day 2 or 3. Discard salsa after one week.

TOMATO BONUS TIP: Don't store your fresh tomatoes in the refrigerator. They will lose flavor and develop a wrinkly skin. Tomatoes keep just as long, if not longer, placed on the kitchen counter top.