Friday, August 20, 2010

Hobo Kitchen: Sam's pico de gallo — using up tomatoes!

pico de gallo in glass container

I hope that some of you lucky gardeners have an overabundance of homegrown tomatoes round about now. We have had about 3 red tomatoes between us and a whole heaping bunch of green ones still hanging out on the plants, taunting us. Here's for sunlight tempting them to ripen before frost!

patio tomato harvested
Our lone patio tomato.
Good thing it was tasty.
But let's assume other people need some recipes for fresh tomatoes. Here's one of our favorites — the fabulous Sam's version of pico de gallo, a mild and chunky, non-saucy, sweetish and tangy salsa. It uses other things you might have in your garden as well, such as cilantro, cabbage, and sweet onions. (We're growing Walla Wallas! Yum!)

If you didn't take Spanish in high school as I did (yes, of course, I'm fluent!) (not really), the last word is pronounced like the word "guy" with an O on the end. But, no, it's not the word for "dude" in Spanish. The phrase means "beak of the rooster," but don't ask me why.

I'm republishing this recipe from last year, because I'm on vacation and am allowed to do things like that.

Gather your ingredients:
     • tomatoes
     • onions — the sweeter the better
     • cilantro
     • cabbage (the secret ingredient!)
     • lime juice
     • sea salt to taste (optional)

Everything that can be chopped, go ahead and dice into chunky pieces. Mix together in a large bowl and spritz with lime juice. Sprinkle coarse sea salt if you want a little more...well, saltiness.

There are no particular rules for how much of a certain item you need to put in. That's why it's perfect if you have a bunch of tomatoes but not as much of the other things. If the combination you make feels too heavy on one item or another, remember that for next time, or balance it out if you have extra ingredients still on hand. There's no wrong way to make pico de gallo, as long as it tastes good to you!

For best taste, let it sit in the fridge for awhile to let the flavors blend together. But if you can't resist eating it right away, I understand. I couldn't tell you how well this keeps, because ours never stays around that long. If I had to guess, I would imagine canning is possible, but freezing will change the texture of the tomatoes.

If you want more heat, add jalapeños or chiles at will.

But, as is, it makes a very nice treat for young mouths. It's mild enough for even very early eaters to give it a go, and since it's chunky, little fingers or adult helpers can preselect portions that will be appreciated. Adding heat's always an option for more adventurous mouths, but even without a lot of spice, it's refreshing to have this mild, fresh, juicy and crunchy treat.

The standard use for pico de gallo is to wolf it down with tortilla chips, but it also makes a lovely garnish for meals. Layer it over Mexican food (of course!), or use as a salsa topping for chicken, fish or eggs. It can even make for a unique relish on hot dogs or hamburgers!

pico de gallo salsa and tortilla chips

¡Buen provecho!

Much prettier and eerily accurate bottom photo courtesy Alice Carrier on stock.xchng
— we even used to have those dishes!

Linked up at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!, Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Friday Food at Momtrends, Food on Friday at Ann Kroeker, Wholesome Whole Foods at Health Food Lover, Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home. My apologies in advance if I don't do much commenting, because our internet access is sketchy.


annies home said...

what a delicious way to use up tomatoes yummy

Unknown said...

One of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh garden goodies :)


Melodie said...

Wow - cabbage! I love pico de gallo and would never in a million years thought of putting cabbage in it. but next time I will. Oh yes I will! Thank you!!

Deb Chitwood said...

Looks like a yummy recipe - I'll have to try it! I love your blog and the resources and encouragement you provide for families. I gave you the Wild about Your Blog Award at

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

It looks so good! And fresh!

Thanks for linking up with me for Friday Favorites!

Related Posts with Thumbnails