Today we’re going to make one of our favorite “core concept” foods… Pico! “Core concept foods” is our fancy way of saying these are things we like to make in big batches and always have on hand because we use them so often and in multiple dishes. Pico is one of those things that goes great with just about everything and it’s so simple.
Although it looks like a salad, at Well Your World we use it as a sauce, and in no small amounts. This recipe will yield us approximately 5 quart-size mason jars full when we 5X it; we can easily devour a jar a day so we’re lucky if this batch lasts us a week. That’s actually a good thing since it’s made with fresh, raw ingredients that we don’t want to leave hanging out in the fridge for too long.
If by some miracle we haven’t eaten it up before it starts to get a little soggy, we’ll just cook it up with some beans on the stove (or InstantPot).
We start by dicing up 25-30 Roma tomatoes into a large mixing bowl. We look for Romas that skew more towards under-ripe vs over-ripe because they’re a little firmer, which makes them cut easier and last longer.
Start by coring the tomatoes similar to the way you’d core a bell pepper. Slice into the tomato, but not all the way through, and run your knife along the inner skin to remove the seedy core. It’s fine if you want to skip this step and leave the core in; it’ll just make your pico a bit more salsa-like since it’ll have a lot more liquid.
Pico Tip: Don’t throw away those tomato cores! Save them for making veggie stock or adding to your compost.
Next, we’ll chop up 2 heads of cilantro. Cilantro is great because the stems are also edible, so you can chop them right in if you want. Just make sure it’s rinsed well and chop away! You can chop it as fine as you like but we prefer not to over-chop it as we appreciate seeing little bits of the leaves in the finished product. It’s totally your call.
It’s not Pico without some diced-up peppers. We always use jalapenos; if you find jalapenos too spicy, keep in mind that the spicy heat is in the seeds. If you split the peppers in half and remove the core, it’ll take most of the heat out. If the heat is still too much for you after removing the seeds, you can omit the jalapenos and use your favorite mild chile pepper. If you like it spicier, then leave some of those seeds in and enjoy the burn!
Grab a few cloves of garlic (or your jar of minced “cheater” garlic) and a couple of red (even though they’re really purple) onions. The finer you chop the onions and garlic, the more their flavor will be imparted. Regardless of how fine you dice them, the result will be delicious. We try to dice the onions up about the same size as the tomatoes for uniformity.
Finally, squeeze about 6 limes in, stir it all together and give it taste and adjust according to your preference. If you like more onions and garlic, add more! Over time, you’ll figure out the way you like it best. Print out the recipe below and your notes to it and soon you’ll have your signature pico to make and take with you everywhere.
Don’t want to chop til you drop?
This Pico recipe does require a lot of chopping by hand… unless it doesn’t. Chopping yields a great result but it does take time. If you’re short on time, you can simply rough chop all the ingredients into the food processor and blend them into salsa. If you still prefer to have nicely a diced Pico, you can use a food processor with a dicing attachment. Dillon shows you the one we use in this video:
We hope this Pico will become one of your “core concept” foods too. It’s a fantastically flavorful way to get your vitamin-packed raw veggies in. Enjoy!
Fresh and full of flavor, this is our favorite way to make this versatile refrigerator staple.
4-5 roma tomatoes, cored and diced
1/2 red onion, diced small
3-4 jalapeño peppers, cored and diced small
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 limes, juiced
3/4-1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Add everything to a big bowl and mix it up. I like to let it sit for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend. Serve this on top of beans and rice, or anything else you like. I apologize in advance for your new pico addiction.