Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fresh Salsa with roasted garlic and green chilies (Pico De Gallo)

When I lived in Colorado, I had a hiking and camping buddy who created gourmet meals for us to eat after a long day’s hike. He wanted us to start a tour guide business. We would take tourists on a tour of the San Juan Mountains (part of the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Colorado) and show them all the interesting sites. He wanted to set us apart from all the other tour guides in the area by providing the tourists with a custom shot video of their adventures and a gourmet meal.
He was a great cook and had some pretty awesome ideas for different meals to prepare. Among his creations were an excellent potato salad, various cold sandwiches, and garden-fresh salsa served with tortilla chips.
The tour guide business never really took off, but out of it came one of my favorite vegetables recipes — his garden-fresh salsa. I love to eat it with tortilla chips, on top of toasted garlic bread and in quick nachos. It’s also great on turkey sandwiches; I like to spread it between turkey slices. This salsa should keep for about 4 to 5 days (although its so delicious I really doubt you’ll have to worry about it lasting that long). In Mexico this salsa is also known as “Pico De Gallo”. Feel free to experiment with any vegetables you like. Use this recipe as a base and add diced bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, or any others you like. Add finely diced jalapeno and/or habanero peppers to make it spicy. Please leave me a comment on what variations you've tried.

3 cups diced white onion
4 cups diced tomatoes
4 tbs roasted garlic, mashed
1 large jalapeno, seeded, deveined and finely diced (optional)
1 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 2 lemons
1 4 oz can of chopped green chilies
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
salt to taste

Add onions, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and green chilies to a large bowl.
In a separate small bowl, mash the roasted garlic with a fork, then add the lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk this dressing while slowly pouring in the olive oil. Dump the dressing onto the bowl of vegetables and mix until everything is well combined.
Pour the salsa mixture into an airtight container and set in the refrigerator overnight. Every now and then, stir it a bit since the juices tend to settle in the bottom of the container.

Prepared on 2011-05-14 (Tulsa, OK), Photographs by Michael Findley


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