Confession time: I love pico de gallo.
If you know me, that might come as a surprise, seeing as how I HATE tomatoes.
Ok, wait, double confession time: I love the taste of pico de gallo, but I avoid eating the chunks for tomato reasons. It’s one of those times in my life that I really wish I liked tomatoes, because that limey cilantroy oniony juice is just wonderful. I usually dunk my chips in it like you’d dunk biscotti in coffee, or pour some of the juice on fajitas & tacos.
Obviously since the main ingredient is tomato I’ve never made my own pico before. If only there was something I could substitute for tomato while still capturing the essence of pico de gallo…
I don’t even remember how, but I got the idea to try pico with red peppers instead of tomatoes. Guys, it came out AWESOME. It even LOOKS like pico de gallo.
Roasted red peppers have their own distinct taste, so this doesn’t taste quite like traditional pico de gallo (which means rooster’s beak just FYI – no one knows why we call it that). You can definitely taste the peppers, but you also get that limey cilantroy oniony flavor I was searching for. The roasted red peppers are soft & liquidy enough to be the perfect replacement to the offensive tomatoes.
By the way, I roasted the red peppers in the crock pot! I got the method from COOKtheSTORY. The skin comes right off. For tricky spots I just hold the skin down on the cutting board with one hand & use the other hand to slide my thumb up the skin, separating the fleshy pepper. I’m sure jarred roasted peppers would work just as well for this recipe if making your own isn’t your thing!
I put a whole jalapeño in this, but it wasn’t spicy like at all. The heat in a pepper mostly comes from the pith/ribs, so thoroughly removing these parts drastically cuts the heat while still giving you the yummy flavor. If you like it hot, feel free to keep it all in or add some more!
I can tell you from experience that this stuff is awesome on tacos and chips. What else would you put it on?
Roasted Red Pepper Pico De Gallo
- 5 roasted & peeled red peppers, diced
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, minced (seeded & ribs removed for less heat)
- 1/2 lime for juice
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tsp Cuban seasoning (or just some cumin, garlic powder, & black pepper)
- salt to taste
- Add all ingredients to a bowl & stir to thoroughly combine.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours. Stir again & taste for salt. Add more if necessary.
- Serve & enjoy!