Tags Posts tagged with "Pico de Gallo"

Pico de Gallo

Cilantro. Photo from Unsplash

By Barbara Beltrami

The world is divided into two groups of people: those who love cilantro aka coriander and use it in all sorts of dishes and those who cannot abide it and say it tastes like soap. If you belong to the first group read on. Cilantro lends its distinct flavor to salsa, marinades, sauces, pestos, salads and even coolers and cocktails.

Pico de Gallo

YIELD: Makes 2 1/2 cups


4 tomatoes, diced

1/2 onion, minced

1 serrano chile, minced

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 heaping tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In medium bowl toss all ingredients together and let sit at room temperature for one hour or cover and refrigerate overnight, then bring to room temperature before serving. Serve with tacos, chili or grilled meat or poultry.

Cilantro Marinated Chicken or Pork

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


2 jalapeno peppers, seeded

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems

2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

4 boneless chicken breasts or 4 pork chops


In a blender puree the jalapeño peppers, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, salt and pepper flakes. Place meat in a shallow dish and coat it with cilantro puree. Cover and refrigerate for one to three hours. Bring back to room temperature.  Grill or broil meat for 5 minutes each side until no longer pink in center. Serve with rice and stir-fried veggies.

Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto

YIELD: Makes about one cup


2 garlic cloves

3 serrano chiles, seeded and charred

2 tightly packed cups fresh flat leaf parsley

2 cups fresh cilantro

2/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Peel the garlic cloves; coarsely chop the chiles. Transfer garlic, chiles, parsley, cilantro, pistachios, oil and salt and pepper to bowl of electric food processor or jar of blender. Puree until fairly smooth; transfer to small glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one month. When ready to serve bring to room temperature.  Serve with pasta, scrambled eggs, grilled veggies, meat, fowl or fish.

Cilantro-Lime Sauce

YIELD: Makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups


1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk or cream

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a small bowl vigorously whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to use. Serve with tacos, chili or grilled beef.

Cilantro Margarita Spritz

YIELD: Makes 3 to 4 cocktails


4 ounces Triple Sec

6 ounces tequila

6 ounces prosecco

15 cilantro leaves

1 1/2 cups pureed peeled and seeded cucumber

2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

2 ounces simple syrup

3 ounces chilled sparkling water

3 cilantro sprigs for garnish


In a cocktail shaker, vigorously shake all ingredients except sparkling water. Fill tall chilled glasses one-quarter up with crushed ice. Pour mix over ice into glasses, then add sparkling water and give a stir. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve with cocktail nuts.