I arrived back from Berlin to find that tomatoes are still dropping off the vines in my backyard. I just can’t seem to keep up with them this year. In a situation like this, the best thing to do is to make Pico de Gallo. A great dish for the heat of summer, it’s also known as Salsa Fresca, a name that can cool you off just by saying it. If you have a small vegetable garden there’s a good chance that you can get most of the ingredients right outside your back door.
Assembling the ingredients reminds you that the garden knows what flavors do well together. Or, as my friend Angie reminds me, “What grows together, goes together.”
Even the colors are beautiful together. What better way to prepare for my trip to Texas?
The basic recipe for a Pico de Gallo calls for tomato, white onion, and either Serrano or jalapeno peppers. I’ve added some cucumbers and cilantro, but you can also include radishes or even a firm fruit like a mango if you like.
2 large-ish tomatoes, small diced
1 hand-full of cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered
1 bunch fresh onion, small diced
1 cucumber, seeded and small diced
1 small Serrano pepper, ribbed and minced (you may also use jalapeno; if you decide to use both, then be sure to taste the peppers to know how hot they are.)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Add all the diced vegetables to a bowl, then add the vinegar, lime juice, and salt. Finally, add the cilantro to taste.
This is delicious over wild rice or with brown rice cakes, but also over summer salads, chicken, fish or by itself.
Also delicious with leftover Rattlesnake Bean Humus.
(While tomatoes are not exactly in my detox program, I refuse to let good summer tomatoes fall to the ground. This is a once-in-a-year opportunity. Some things just have to be ignored.)