We presume that, like us, you’re taking full advantage of Tennessee tomatoes. ‘Tis the season for homemade mayonnaise, BLTs, caprese salads and our all-around favorite summer tomato side: pico de gallo. It goes with everything we throw on the grill.
There’s no need to follow a recipe. Just start chopping, and make it up as you go along. We usually combine diced Tennessee tomatoes, onion, fresh lime juice, and jalapeño or serrano peppers in a bowl. Next, we toss in chopped cilantro and a small clove of garlic mashed into a paste with a generous pinch of salt. In ten minutes or less, you’ll have created a dish that captures summer in Tennessee.
As the pico sits, you’ll notice that those juicy tomatoes will produce quite a bit of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. This is good news, so don’t pour it down the drain after your dinner tacos! Store the pico juice in the fridge, and at cocktail hour the next day, put it to use in a round of pico marys or pico marias, our absolute summer favorites. Warning: after one sip, you will be forever ruined; forget about the variety made with thick, cloying tomato juice. The leftover juice makes a drink that’s light, bright and full of pico flavor.
If you’re using tequila (and your fresh tomato liquid deserves 100 percent agave), moisten a short glass with a lime wedge and rim with coarse salt. Add ice and tequila and top with the spicy tomato liquid. Or, forget the salt rim and use vodka for a pico mary. No need to add crazy bloody mary-gone-wild garnishes like bacon, shrimp, pickled okra or tater tots. They clutter the purity of the cocktail. In fact, totally resist any addition as those bright little tomato and cilantro bits are the perfect adornment.
This story appears at Nfocusmagazine.com and we include it here for our rbandmindy.com readers.