What a perfect time of year for fresh vegetables. It’s when veggie non-enthusiasts (sounds better than veggie haters) really feel the pressure to convert, to join the throngs of burlap shopping bag-toting consumers at weekend farmer’s markets to purchase and consume pounds and pounds of fresh produce.
Even the willing veggie eaters like me feel that pressure. A quick flip through summer food magazines leaves my brain reeling with the decree that we gorge ourselves on fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit.
Produce should be stuffed into every snack, beverage, meal, appetizer, dessert and cocktail.
And then to really scream, “Summer!”, I should also scatter fruit and veggies throughout the house as decor. A platter of lemons, herb stems upright in vases, gleaming bowls of fresh tomatoes.
Resistance is futile! I get to the produce section, the farmer’s market, the roadside stand… and more or less black out. When I come to I just give up and grab a package of hotdogs.
We are all saved however by salsas. Whether veggie enthusiasts or non, salsas are loved and devoured by all in this house. A multitude of veggies can be jammed into a salsa where they are much less intimidating to non-veggie enthusiasts.
It tastes good, looks beautiful. Who’s going to say no to vibrant, spicy salsa with a big bowl of tortilla chips? Certainly not me. Chips and salsa are my lifelong favorite snack.
Here is the simplest of salsas: Pico de Gallo. Seven ingredients chopped and tossed together. The taste is delicious and tingling with a bounty of veggie freshness.
Pico de Gallo
Fresh ingredients and flavors make a simple and amazing fresh salsa!
- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4 scallions
- 2 medium jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Juice from 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons salt
Slice open the tomatoes. Use a 1/4-sized teaspoon to scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Place the skin-sides down and slice the tomato halves lengthwise into strips. Slice the strips crosswise into cubes and place them in a large bowl.
Peel and dice the onion. Add the chopped onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Cut off and discard the white bulb ends of the scallions and the raggedy parts of the tops. Slice the remaining scallions crosswise into thin slices and add them to the bowl.
Prepare the jalapeños: wear gloves if you wish, to keep the spicy oils off your skin. Otherwise keep your hands away from your face while prepping the peppers and wash them well after. Slice the jalapeños lengthwise. Use a 1/4-teaspoon sized measuring spoon to scoop out the seeds and veins from the pepper. Discard the seeds and veins. Place the skin-sides down and slice the peppers lengthwise into strips, then cut the crosswise into small pieces. Run your knife through the chopped jalapeño a few times to chop them finely, and add to bowl.
Finally, add to the bowl the chopped cilantro, lime juice and salt. Toss the ingredients together until they are combined.
Serve fresh with tortilla chips. Leftover Pico de Gallo can be stored tightly covered in the fridge for up to three days.
- Makes about 6 cups.