Pico de gallo, literally “rooster’s beak” in Spanish, is a popular Mexican dish that can be as hot as the summer sun or as cool as a glass of iced lemonade. Gardeners can settle on the recipe and plant their rows accordingly.
Why Grow a Pico de Gallo Garden?
Gardening with a theme is a fun way to anticipate the taste of the harvest. With a delicious recipe in mind, gardeners are also sure to put every last bit of their produce to good use.
Most gardeners have a mile-long list of herbs and vegetables they’d love to plant. Unfortunately, limited space is usually at odds with these goals. Instead of throwing together a haphazard mishmash of produce, some gardeners utilize all their space for one purpose. Salsa gardens, and pico de gallo gardens in particular, are good examples of this.
What to Plant in the Pico de Gallo Garden
The most abundant ingredient in pico de gallo is the sun-ripened tomato. True salsa connoisseurs claim pico de gallo is only at its best when made with garden-fresh tomatoes.
Next, gardeners will need to plant some white onions. If gardeners want to taste their pico de gallo throughout the summer, they’ll need to either start their onion seeds in the previous fall or plant seedlings.
The characteristic spiciness of pico de gallo usually comes from the fiery jalapeno pepper. Gardeners who prefer their salsa mild may decide to leave these peppers out of the patch altogether, but the gardeners who like a kick to their salsa may want an extra row.
Last but certainly not least comes the savory herb cilantro. This herb’s recognizable taste and aroma feature in many popular Latin dishes. Because cilantro goes to seed nearly every three weeks, gardeners will need to keep up with harvesting and planting to ensure a steady supply throughout the summer.
Pico de Gallo Recipe
Once the garden is producing, whipping up a cool dish of pico de gallo is only a few minutes of dicing away. Gardeners can harvest what they need and head to the kitchen to start the preparation.
Here is a ratio of garden ingredients that will combine to make a scrumptious bowl of salsa for the whole family.
- 4 tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers (more or less to taste)
- ½ cup diced cilantro (more or less to taste)
- ¼ cup water
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch of garlic powder
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
If gardeners have a cucumber or radish on hand from another garden patch, these are sure to add extra flare to the recipe.
Once the ingredients are combined in a bowl, gardeners can toss them together and chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes. The fruits of their labor are excellent served with tortilla chips or over a bed of brown rice.