A few days ago I was thinking about what to have for supper, and felt I wanted something fresh to go with my meat. I knew I had a jalapeno in the refrigerator, and my Juliet tomato plants were starting to produce a handful of fresh tomatoes each day. I also have part of a dry onion in the refrigerator; it is one of those things I try to keep on hand. All those ingredients sound like the start of a fresh Pico De Gallo salsa.
I was wondering what was missing, and looked in Marlys’s recipe book to see what she might have said. Sure enough, she has a recipe called Salsa which sounds a lot like the Pico De Gallo for which I was looking. And as the picture shows, what I made looks like a Pico De Gallo salsa, too.
Developed by Marlys Crary, Cinco de Mayo, 2001)
- 4 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/3 white onion, finely diced
- 1/8 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely diced
- 1 Tablespoon parsley, dried
- Salt and pepper to taste
- small amount of olive oil to moisten
May add either or both:
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels, (or 1 can)
I was short on the Bell Pepper, so I left it out. I didn’t exactly measure the ingredients because I was using my Juliet tomatoes instead of the Roma tomatoes she lists; the Juliet is a cherry tomato with a texture like the Roma tomato- very meaty and not a lot of the center pulp.
I used fresh parsley right out of my herb garden, and as I have said in other recipes, once I cut it to bring it into the house, I tend to use all of it unmeasured.
I added a handful of frozen corn kernels; I put them in a sieve and ran water over them to get rid of the frost, and then dried them on paper towels. And, I added a bit of lime juice- not called for in Marlys’s recipe.
I think what is to be taken away from this exercise is that you want to capture the basics of a recipe, but you shouldn’t be a slave to it; you need to improvise with what you have, and have fun cooking. I think my spur-of-the-moment salsa turned out just as I wanted. It was fresh, and gave the meat a different taste that I enjoyed.