By Elliot Kantor
One of the most important skills for people first learning to cook is seasoning to taste. You need to know how to do two things: taste the food and make changes. Then repeat. To master these two skills, you just need to practice! So, I’ve prepared a very basic pico de gallo recipe to practice cutting ingredients and seasoning to taste. As food goes, this particular recipe has great rewards with very little effort.
Eyeball everything and taste as you go
First, grab some tomatoes, an onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, garlic, lime, and a jalapeño. You can add more spices or ingredients (I hear tropical fruit can taste good in this), or you can use fewer. Without time or ingredients, just salted tomato and onion can be a great topping to tacos or salads. I won’t include specific measurements, but eyeball everything and taste as you go. The only rule would probably be to have less onion than tomato. Dice the tomato finely and add to a bowl. Season with salt (to taste) and dice the onion to a similar size. If cilantro is your thing, you can add that, too. By the way, cilantro stems are not bitter like parsley stems, so don’t worry about separating stems from leaves. Dice a clove of garlic (raw stuff is more potent) and half of a seeded jalapeño if you have one. Again, season with salt and pepper and always taste before and after to see what you like! Squeeze in about half of a lime, tasting as you increment the amount, and that’s about it. Serve on top of anything (but my favorite is homemade tacos).
I actually cooking by following the Basics with Babish YouTube series. In fact, this recipe is adapted from Babish’s! Although I may not go into the details here, the channel is a great resource for anyone who wants to cook.