This recipe for Pico de Gallo uses fresh ingredients that are being harvested at Colchester Neighborhood Farm. While Pico de Gallo is very similar to salsa, the biggest difference between these two dishes is that salsa recipes can vary, using a variety of fruits and vegetables, some that are fresh and some that are cooked. Pico de Gallo uses only fresh, uncooked ingredients and the ingredients are always the same. Serve this up along with tortilla chips and some Margaritas this weekend.
Pico de Gallo
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 lb Tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 Green Pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 or 3 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Juice of one Lime
Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and serve with tortilla chips or alternative. Use in wraps or in a salad with greens and avocado.
Buying fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm stand not only demonstrates healthy eating habits to children, it can teach them the value of supporting local agriculture. If we’re lucky, the trip to the farm can result in a few cherished memories. There is no denying that tomatoes or lettuce picked the same day taste better than the produce purchased from the grocery store. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of harvesting food from a backyard garden rather than a refrigerator, you will agree that the “chore” itself could be as fun as the food was tasty. I remember picking vegetables with my grandfather; he taught me how to choose the ripest and sweetest tomatoes and how to determine when peppers were ready to be picked. Even sweeter than those tomatoes are the memories of the experience that I still carry with me today.
By today’s standards, however, we are not always as diligent about taking time to smell the roses…or as the case may be, the basil. In our rush to complete all of our errands, making a special trip to a local farm, exclusively for the purpose of buying cucumbers and tomatoes, can seem like an added chore and one that could easily be eliminated, if we just purchased our produce at the local grocery store, along with all of the other items on our list. But sometimes, these everyday chores are the same ones that create an experience and in the process, a lasting memory, for children and parents, alike. If we eliminate these so-called chores, we may be denying ourselves and our children the pleasure of true, quality time spent together.
When you buy your fruits and vegetables from Colchester Neighborhood Farm, consider blocking out an extra 15 minutes or 30 minutes for the “chore” because it could easily turn into a fun and wonderful experience. Colchester Neighborhood Farm is a social enterprise in every sense of the word. Employing adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities who are more than happy to wait on their customers at the farm stand, they are also eager to show off their farm, which includes chickens, a friendly donkey named Dapple, and some goats and their babies…yes the kids love the kids! A visit to Colchester Neighborhood Farm is more than just buying fresh fruits and vegetables, it is an opportunity for our children to learn about agriculture, to see how their food is grown and where it comes from. And going home with a few good memories along with some fresh tomatoes, organically grown cucumbers, and a bouquet of fresh flowers isn’t bad either.
The first step to making Gazpacho is to concasse your tomatoes. This means to peel and seed. Fill a 2 qt. pot with water and bring to a boil. Using a paring knife or tomato shark, take to core out of the tomato and cut a small “x” just to score the skin on the bottom of the tomato. Get a bowl of ice water ready. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 20 seconds. Lift from water and submerge in ice water. Allow tomato to cool for 2 minutes. Remove all tomatoes from ice bath. The skin should easily peel away from tomato. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half and using a small spoon, remove the seeds. Place the tomatoes in the blender, along with the red bell pepper, red onion, cucumber and tomato juice. Once the ingredients have been pureed to a smooth consistency, add the sherry vinegar, salt, pepper and sriracha. Turn blender on and slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Divide the gazpacho into 4 bowls. I like some texture in my gazpacho so I garnish with diced cucumber, scallion, juice of ½ lime and fresh watermelon. Make a nice mound in the center of the soup for a great presentation!