Pico de Gallo – Fresh Salsa

I made this fresh salsa when our jalapeno and “Wenk’s Yellow Hot” peppers were first ready to harvest this summer.  Our tomatoes were not yet ready so I found some baby Romas at the local farmers’ market.  This can be made with or without black beans – a little healthier and heartier with the beans, but tasty either way.  I added an orange sweet bell pepper for additional crunch and to balance the heat from the hot peppers and the acid from the tomatoes. 

 Ingredient List:

 All quantities are to taste and/or as per what you have on hand.  A few guidelines for the ratio of the main ingredients – predominantly tomato, about equal parts of the chopped sweet pepper, corn and black beans, onion for seasoning and flavor, and the hot peppers for heat and flavor.. 

 Tomatoes – Garden fresh, ripe and red.  Washed and seeded. 

 Sweet Bell Pepper – whatever color you like – I have used all of them successfully in this salsa, though the green bell pepper is not as “sweet” as the red, yellow and orange peppers.  Washed and rough chopped.

 Hot Peppers – Jalapeno, Serrano, Hungarian Wax, and so on – whatever you have on hand, whatever you like – the more traditional choices are the jalapeno and Serrano.  Washed and rough chopped.  Seed and remove the ribs or veins for less heat – or keep ‘em for more!

 Onion – pretty much whatever you have on hand – I try to use sweet Vidalia onion or green onions.  Rough chopped

 Garlic – use a few cloves of fresh or about 1 teaspoon of freeze-dried garlic from Litehouse Foods. 

 Cilantro – some people like it, some people don’t – it’s your choice

 Sweet Corn – I have used white shoepeg corn from a can (drained) or frozen, thawed and drained.  Also, fresh corn on the cob, cooked and sliced off the cob. 

 Black beans – I use canned and I rinse them well and drain them.

 Fresh Lime Juice – to taste – I add it at the end. 

 Salt – to taste – if you think it needs it.  Again, I add it at the end.

 Directions:

 Chop the tomatoes by hand and place in a large bowl. 

Put the sweet and hot peppers, onion, garlic and cilantro in a food processor.  Rough chop – you want a chunky, not a mushy salsa.  Add to the tomatoes along with the corn and black beans if you are using.  Season with the lime juice and salt. 

Salsa without the black beans

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