Summer in a Bowl: Pico de Gallo (Salsa)

by Cate on July 21, 2009

Pico de Gallo

We had company for dinner tonight, and the theme was Mexican.  In one hour, I had made Mexican Roast Chicken, homemade guacamole, Pico de Gallo, Sausage Con Queso and Mexican Rice.  I had emptied and filled the dishwasher.  The kitchen was all cleaned up.  The table was set and I was making a tray of food to send next door to my neighbor.  She’s having her baby tomorrow – no cooking for her!

With minutes to go before our guests were due to arrive, I breathed a sigh of relief.  No crazy stress, everything was done, and I could relax for a few minutes.  And then Madeline starts to call me.  She was playing while I was cooking and had gone to explore the dining room.  The good part about when she’s doing something she’s not supposed to be doing is that she calls me right away to help save her from whatever mess she has created.   The bad part is, well, whatever she’s doing that she’s not supposed to be doing.  I walk into the dining room to find her standing on a chair, motioning over to the table.  The table I just set, mind you.  Next to her hands, on the table, was a pitcher of juice that I had just made.  On its side.  Completely and positively empty.  Not one speck left in the TWO GALLON pitcher.  Why, you ask?  Because she had knocked it over and it.was.all.over.  Everywhere.  In all the plates.  All over the table.  Dripping through the leaf of the table onto the floor.  All over the chair.  One big sticky, icky mess.

“Mommy?” she asks, looking up at me with those big brown eyes.  She motions that she wants to get down from the chair.  OH REALLY?

So minutes after the guests are ringing the doorbell, they’re all on the floor with me cleaning up the mess.  Come on in, get comfortable, grab a paper towel or two or forty.  Fifteen minutes later, the mess cleaned up, the plates washed, we finally got to start all over.  Of course, the floor is ultra-sticky now and needs to be scrubbed down again, but moving on…

Mexican night.  Nothing better to kick off a night of Mexican food than a bowl of fresh salsa or pico de gallo (really, what is the difference between the two?), and with the crazy fresh summer produce ripe for the picking, this is one of my favorite ways to use tomatoes.  It really is summer in a bowl.  Yes, there is a bit of chopping involved, but ten minutes later, you’re tasting something that is better than any jar you can get at the grocery store.  I absolutely promise.

This is a Sweetnicks’ Greatest Hit, originally hitting our table two years ago.  Still just as delicious then as it is now… go get ’em.

Pico de Gallo
Recipe courtesy of Latina magazine

1 lb ripe tomatoes, finely diced (with juice)
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
1/2 cup seeded, finely diced cucumber
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 serrano chiles, seeded and very finely diced (I skipped)
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

In medium, nonreactive bowl, stir together all ingredients to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let stand about 30 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or use in any recipe that calls for fresh salsa. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna July 21, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Love how you call this summer in a bowl. It truly is, so fresh, delciious and healthy. Just perfect! Looks fantastic!


Joanne July 22, 2009 at 8:17 am

Awww poor Madeline! She sounds like quite the character. Pico de gallo, or anything with fresh tomatoes, really does taste like summer to me. Thanks for the winner recipe. I hope the rest of your evening was not quite so chaotic.


Sarah Caron July 22, 2009 at 9:49 am

I can totally relate. These girls bat their brown eyes at you after doing something so mind blowing like spilling a whole pitcher of juice everywhere (or stealing a glass of water from my bedside table this morning and then trying to toss the glass at me, spilling the whole thing in the process).

Mmm, but that pico de gallo sounds awesome.


The Neighbor Husband July 22, 2009 at 10:59 am

I remember that post. She’s too cute to get mad at :)


ladybughugs July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm

oooh nooo! bright side (if there can be one) was you had everything else under control?

It’s hard to fault a little one for following where their curiosity takes them.


Ramona July 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I always steal my hubby’s pico de gallo off his plate at the mexican resturants. Love it.

Your recipe looks good. Uh Oh, Madeline!



Susan July 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm

oooo. i’ve had those days…well, still do. :-) my floor stays dirty.

i absolutely love pico…never thought about putting cucumbers in there. i bet that makes it doubly good and refreshing.


ttfn300 July 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm

ooh no!!! isn’t she precious ;) hope the rest of the night went well!


Lori @ RecipeGirl July 22, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Your menu sounds wonderful! Pico de Gallo is perfect for utilizing summer tomatoes. yum!


Claire July 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Gotta love those kid messes. This looks yummy!


Ashley August 3, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I love the colors in this salsa! What a refreshing summer recipe :)


Farmgirl Susan August 5, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Okay, I’ve had this page open since you first posted it and am finally getting around to commenting. Nothing slow about me. I love the idea of putting cucumbers in salsa – and loved reading this (which I’m not sure is something I should say considering the story). Thanks for the laugh – and glimpse into parenting! ; )


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