The warmer weather has arrived and unfortunately is almost at its end, here’s to hoping we will get our customary Indian Summer so we can enjoy throughout September. Always a welcomed event, especially after the long, harsh winter we just experienced! I always look forward to this time of the year. Not only do I enjoy the warm air, sunshine and ability to sport my flip flops, I really enjoy the fresh, light tastes of summer. Even though fresh ingredients are available all year round in these modern times, there’s nothing better than really taking advantage of them during this time of the year. They just taste better.
Most of us also enjoy lighter meals during the warm seasons. We fire up the grill and concentrate on making light, healthy versions of those wintery comfort meals we tend to make on those brutally cold, dark and dreary days. One way I like to lighten and freshen up my meals and make them summery is with my favorite “condiment”. It is so versatile that it can be used during breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is pico de gallo. This simple mixture of tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice and that oh so delicious cilantro will take your meal to a special place. It is a perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken, fish or shrimp. It takes that boring brown rice or quinoa and makes it feel like you’re on a tropical island enjoying a meal! I even love to eat it mixed in with my egg whites in the morning. It will make your food come alive with flavor and the best part is there are hardly any calories and no fat in it. It is truly one of my favorite meal enhancers.
Here’s is my basic recipe for pico de gallo. Keep in mind that you can adjust any of the ingredients to suit your tastes. Don’t like spicy? Leave out or reduce the jalapeno. Not a fan of cilantro? Cut back on how much you put in. I don’t think there is any bad way to combine these ingredients. Any amounts will taste delicious together!
6-7 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
½ small white onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Fresh squeezed lime juice to taste. (I usually use ½ to 1 lime)
Salt to taste
That’s it. Just chop everything and mix together. It is best if it can be made at least 1hr. before you need it to let the flavors meld. I usually use my ninja mini food processor to chop all ingredients except for the tomato. Once it’s done, just add to your next meal and enjoy.
PS- If you remember the recent post, “Eat your colors”, those red tomatoes have some great benefits that even beat how delicious they taste in this condiment!