In my part of Mexico, where cacti grow abundantly, we eat so much of what a cactus has to offer. Not only do we eat the cactus pod, the sweet fruits like tunas and pitayas, but also the sour fruit called xoconostles. Pronounced hoko-nose-leh.
Xoconostles have been used for thousands of years and they are finally making their way into Mexican markets all overUnited States. They look something like this:
During my dad’s recent visit to Mexico, he brought me back some extremely fresh xoconostles. I am trying to be gentle with them and make them last because there is nothing like wild xoconostles from my village.
The recipe I show you today is one of the most simple ways to introduce anyone to this sour fruit: Pico de Gallo. A dimension of sourness that’s unlike any other, will be added to this pico by the xoconostle. Be prepared, you’re going to love it!
Yields approximately 2 cups
1/3 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup cilantro
6 dried chiles de arbol
Salt to taste
- Cut the ends of the xoconostles and peel completely.
- Now you have to remove the seeds. Cut xoconostles in half. Using a small spoon remove the seeds.
- Chop the xoconostles and mix with the other chopped items in a bowl.
- Using a molcajete, mortal and pestle, or spice grinder grind the chiles de arbol into flakes. Add the flakes to the other items.
- Lastly, add the juice of the lime and salt to taste (approximately 1/2 teaspoon).
Now you can eat this pico de gallo as you would any other pico. Add it as a topping for tacos, salads, burritos, etc. My favorite way to eat it is on top of a nice bowl of frijoles de la olla with some small pieces of corn tortilla mixed in there. You can find my recipe for these Mayocoba beans here.
Feel free to post your comments or questions.
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