The tale of two tomatoes: Mexican Pico De Gallo vs. Italian Bruschetta

The food of choice this Tuesday is the “Tomato“.

I admit, I never used to like tomatoes, simply was not a fan of the seeds and pulp factor. However, as I have grown older, I have found a new respect for them. I now seek out fresh salsa and when I tried Bruschetta, l realized if you like one, you would love the other.

This is why today we are shining a light on the “Tomato” with TWO recipes.

Let’s call it Mexican Pico vs. Italian Bruschetta.

Which would be your favorite?

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The full cast of characters. Chip/Jalapeños on one side with Bread/Basil on the other.

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Let’s start with the basic ingredient to both recipes and start dicing some tomatoes.

I slice the four edges of the tomatoe off trying to leave behind the seed filled core.

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Then removed the seeds and pulp with my finger.

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Now slice each tomato chunk into slivers then hold the silvers in a bunch to dice into small pieces shown above.

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Throw the tomatoes into two bowls. One for Italian Bruschetta the other for Pico De Gallo.

In no particular order.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is versatile and delicious. My true favorite is tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar on top of an olive oil’d baguette. The trick is to use, really good, in season Roma Tomatoes, Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar to makes the flavors pop accompanied by a really crispy toasted baguette slice.

Let’s begin.

To your bowl of diced Roma Tomatoes add

stella 057-6 Add about 24 Basil leaves.

stella 058-7 Stack them and roll them into a tight roll.

stella 062-8 Then slice small layers of the basil off, this is known as Chiffonade.

(see you just learned some fancy kitchen speak)

pico bruch (9 of 3)Then chop those strips into pieces like this.

pico bruch (10 of 3)Next the Italian Parsley

pico bruch (11 of 3)

Chop the Italian Parsley into a small chop.

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pico bruch (12 of 5)

Next add the Olive Oil, Minced Garlic, Sugar, Balsamic Vinegar, and Salt.

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Stir it all together with love.

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Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of the slice with good olive oil . Place on a cooking sheet. Toast them in the top rack of your 400 degree oven for 5 minutes until the bread begins to turn golden brown.  Keep your eyes on the bread.

Kathleen’s Tip: Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil. Just toast the bread for 5 minutes then rub a clove of garlic onto the slices.

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Place the bread olive oil side up and start scooping the Bruschetta mixture on top. Do this step right before serving or the bread will get soggy.

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Italian bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Roma Tomato, Diced (about 6 Medium Sized Tomatoes or 10 Small Sized Tomatoes)
  • 4 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, Chopped (about 24 large leaves)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt Extra Salt To TasteMethod:Mix all ingredients together well. Add additional salt to taste.

    In a medium sized bowl, add the diced tomatoes and basil, along with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

  • Scoop onto toasted baguette slices.

    Now with the other bowl of chopped tomatoes let’s visit Mexican Pico De Gallo Salsa.

    Mexican Salsas can range from pico de gallo, which contains chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro, to salsa roja, which is made with tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, minced garlic, and cilantro. Absolutely perfect Pico de Gallo lives somewhere in between these two recipes. Here is mine.

    pico bruch-007 To that bowl of diced tomatoes add some chopped onion.

    Grab your sharpest knife and slice the halved onion on the horizontal.

    pico bruch-008 When complete it will look like this.

    pico bruch-010 Then slice on the vertical.

    pico bruch-011

    Now you are prepared to cut from the top to form small diced onions.

    pico bruch-012 Add those to the bowl and move onto the Jalapenos.

    pico bruch-015 Slice them in half, discard the tops and carve out the seeds, this is for milder Pico – if you are feeling adventurous keep the seeds.

    pico bruch-018 Cut the Jalapenos into slivers and then chop them into a small dice.

    pico bruch-020 Next, grab your Cilantro and chop it like the Italian parsley above. (Are you feeling the similarities?)

    pico bruch-021 Toss it into the bowl and stir everything together gently.

    pico bruch-023 Looking Good.

    pico bruch-025 Now squeeze in your lime and add your salt.

    pico bruch-027 Good job.

    pico bruch-031 Serve with warm chips and you will have friends asking for your recipe.

    Pico de Gallo just like Bruschetta won’t keep very long in the fridge – 24 hr. max.

    After that, it starts to break down turning into a soupy mess.

    It’s best to make it the day you want to devour it.

    PICO DE GALLO:

    Ingredients:

    • 5 Roma Tomatoes
    • ½ whole Large (or 1 Small) Onion
    • 3 whole Jalapeno Peppers
    • Cilantro
    • Lime Juice
    • Salt To Taste

    Method:

    Chop jalapenos, tomatoes and onions into a very small dice. (Leave seeds in your jalapenos for a hotter pico). Adjust amount of jalapenos to your preferred temperature. Next, chop up a nice-sized bunch of cilantro. Just remove and discard the long leafless stems before chopping. No need to remove the leaves from the stems completely. Place all of these ingredients together in a bowl and stir.

    Squeeze the juice of half of one lime into the bowl. Add salt to taste and stir again.

    Maddox – stop begging for both of these tomatoe appy’s..

    This is why I love him, not the begging part, but that he wants each offering – just like me.

    Enjoy.

    pico bruch-185

    kathleen sign lime

    One response

    1. THANK YOU!!!!! I now know how to chop basil. I usually give up & start tearing it. These are two of my fav uses for maters BTW. 🙂

      August 10, 2010 at 6:19 am

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