PICO DE GALLO vs. SALSA
One of the best things about living in New Mexico is the food! There is a food culture here unlike anywhere else in the world; the food somewhere in between traditional Mexican crossed with Native American with green or red chile thrown in for good measure (and good health*). This time of year, it is perfect as the ingredients are fresh and abundant. We have most everything growing in our back yard, if you don’t, check your local farmer’s market. My family says it is the taste of summer for them.
Since I am not a native New Mexican, I had to quickly learn the difference between Salsa and Pico de Gallo. This is something I’ve been corrected on several times from the locals. Apparently, with Salsa something is cooked, the tomatoes, tomatillos or chiles; or the whole thing is cooked-down once chopped and mixed. With Pico de Gallo, it is all fresh ingredients served raw. This recipe is from my personal file. It is one that most of my life I called my famous Summer Salsa recipe only to learn it is officially Pico de Gallo and not so famous. Either way, it is delicious and healthy.
Miss Kate is my neighbor and best friend. During the summer, we often see each other to swap vegetables from our gardens, we usually grow different things. Feeding Miss Kate has always been a challenge for me as I’m sure it is with anyone with diabetes. This particular recipe has not killed her nor thrown her into diabetic shock so I think it is safe. The carbs are low, the tomatoes being the highest of the ingredient list. The hardest part for diabetics is finding chips that you can eat more than a dozen or so. Fortunately, the Pico de Gallo is so good, a person can just eat it with a spoon, as Miss Kate has done on many occasions.
*One Hatch or Big Jim’s green chile contains as much vitamin C as six oranges! It explains why chile is so addicting!
PICO DE GALLO (formerly known as Summer Salsa)
- 6-8 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1-2 orange or red sweet peppers, chopped
- 1-2 minced Big Jim’s green chile or a small can of Hatch green chile (jalapenos will also work)
- 1/8 cup minced fresh cilantro
- Juice of a lime
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- Sprinkle of white sugar (less than 1/8 t.)
Throw into a bowl and mix. Serve with chips, or not.