As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently discovered a little gem of a Mexican market and I have since been frequenting their produce section. Yesterday I walked out with 3 bags of produce including a large pinapple and only spent about $6.00. Ole!
I don’t know about you but for me pico de gallo just screams summer! Fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, lime juice and cilantro. I want to put it on everything! Not only is it tasty and fresh – but it looks beautiful and makes everything much more appealing. You eat with your eyes first, I always say. So, yes… presentation can be everything. 🙂
Below is not only the recipe for my pico de gallo but how I am currently obsessed in using it: Refried black beans (vegetarian – no lard), Monterey Jack and Cojita cheese, a tablespoon of the pico de gallo all on a crispy tostada shell. *see photo
All of these items can be found in pretty much any grocery store – but I would encourage you to find a local Mexican market and support small businesses whenever you can – not only are they are affordable but you are helping immigrant families make a living.
Ingredients for Pico de Gallo
3-4 Roma tomatoes (or any red tomato – I prefer Roma as they are less acidic)
1 large white onion (use your favorite onion here – I prefer the white for this because it’s more traditional in Mexican food)
1 medium poblano pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 pinch of sea salt
1 small lime
Ingredients for Tostada
1 16oz can refried black beans (read the label and be sure to get the fat-free without lard)
1.5 tablespoons of Mexican crema (you can use sour cream if you must)
1 whole chipotle in adobo sauce (chopped small – include 1 tablespoon of the sauce from the can)
Additional items needed:
1 tablespoon of shredded Monterey Jack
1 tablespoon crumbled Cojita (Mexican crumbling cheese)
Small pre-cooked tostada shells (I get Charras from the Mexican Market – but your local grocery should have some similar)
Pico de gallo: Dice the tomato, onion and poblano for Pico de Gallo. They should be small dices of equal size. If I’m sharing this – I dice the poblano smaller than the onion and tomato – just in case people don’t like the spice as much as I do! Rough chop the cilantro and cut the lime in half. Mix all the ingredients except the lime in a bowl. Squeeze in the lime juice and add salt. This can be stored up to two weeks in the fridge.
Refried black beans: In a large saucepan, add beans, crema and chipotle and adobo sauce. Cook over medium heat and stir until thoroughly mixed and heated.
Ready to Cook?
Spread a thick layer of the warm black bean mixture onto the tostada shell. Sprinkle the Jack cheese on. At this point, assemble as many as you’re going to make and then toast in the oven (or toaster oven… or microwave if you must) to melt the cheese. Once melted add a table spoon of the pico de gallo, and sprinkle on the Cojita crumbling cheese. Enjoy!
The Perfect Bite
The perfect bite is, of course, when it’s warm and you get the combo of warm beans and cheese with cool Pico. Oh it’s so delightful!
The Perfect Pairing
I made these tostadas for some friends last night and we paired them with my homemade Mojitos. I will link this to that recipe as soon as I get it up. The sweet, minty, lime and rum beverage is absolutely perfect with this – and cools down any spice you get from the peppers.
The Perfect Health
Tomatoes are considered one of the super foods. Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. And good news! Summer is tomato season – and August, which is right around the corner, is their peak month. So chop, dice and splice away! Read HERE for more good news about the beautiful tomato.