Mango brings exotic fruit flavor to traditional pico de gallo. This delicious twist compliments grilled or broiled chicken, pork and most seafoods. Fresh pineapple can be substituted for mango, if you prefer. Either way, your guests will want more.

Prep time:20 minutes
Cook time:20 minutes resting
Servings:4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 4 – 5 Roma Tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 large Mango, diced, or 1 cup diced fresh Pineapple
  • 2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup diced Red Onion
  • 1 -2 cloves Garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Cilantro, leaves and soft stems only, chopped
  • Chilies of your choice: (Hot) 2 – 3 Jalapenos, (Mild to Medium) 1 Hatch or Poblano Chile; seeded, deveined and chopped
  • juice of 1 fresh Lime
  • Kosher Salt
  • fresh ground Pepper
  • (Optional tropical twist) 1 tablespoon minced Ginger + 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Mint

Preparation

To cut a mongo: A mango has one long, flat seed in the center of the fruit. You will need to work around the tough seed. Follow these steps from the National Mango Board (mango.org): Always wash the mango before cutting. Stand the mango on your cutting board stem end down and hold. Place your knife about 1/4″ from the widest center line and cut down through the mango. Flip the mango around and repeat this cut on the other side. The resulting ovals of mango flesh are known as the “cheeks.” What’s left in the middle is mostly the mango seed. With the cheeks, cut parallel slices into the mango flesh, being careful not to cut through the skin. Turn the mango cheek 1/4 rotation and cut another set of parallel slices to make a checkerboard pattern.

Here’s where you can choose your favorite method. Either “Slice and Scoop” — scoop the mango slices out of the mango skin using a large spoon — or “Inside Out” — turn the scored mango cheek inside out by pushing the skin up from underneath, and scrape the mango chunks off of the skin with a knife or spoon. Hint: If you are making a recipe that calls for diced mango, make your parallel cuts closer together. The result is small pieces of diced mango and no need to further cut up the mango pieces on your cutting board.

For the chilies: Smaller chilies such as jalapeno or serrano are generally used fresh and larger ones such as Hatch or poblano are roasted. If you prefer to roast them, there are two methods: over a flame or under a broiler. 

If using a grill, make sure the grill surface is clean and rub it with an oil dampened cloth. Make a slit in all chilies prior to roasting. Place chilies on a rack over low flame or hot coals with a white ash. This is easily done on a grill after you have already used it and the fire is still hot. Turn the chilies as needed until the skin is blistered and charred, but the flesh isn’t burned. Place the roasted chilies into a large bowl covered with plastic wrap for up to 20 minutes. This steams the skin off.

If using a broiler, place chilies on a foil-lined pan. Roast chilies 4 to 6 inches from the heat until the skin is blistered and charred, but the flesh isn’t burned. Using tongs, turn chilies as needed to roast all sides. Place the roasted chilies in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap for up to 20 minutes. This steams the skin off.

Either wear food preparation gloves or generously oil your hands prior to handling chilies. Do not cut chilies under running water as the water vapor may carry the irritating oils. Snip veins with scissors, remove veins and seeds, then place chilies in a colander and rinse under cold water while rubbing and pulling off charred skin. Pat them dry with paper towels. Dice for use in recipe. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handing chilies. The volatile oils can burn your hands or other sensitive parts of the body, like eyes. If the volatile oils remain on your hands even after washing, soaking them in beer or rubbing alcohol will stop the burn. (Per instructions from the local poison control hotline after one unfortunate experience.)

Heat the EVOO in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and garlic (and ginger, if using). Sauté 1 – 2 minutes and remove from heat.

In a glass or non-reactive bowl, add diced tomatoes, red onion, mango or pineapple, chilies and cilantro (and mint, if using). Squeeze fresh lime juice over the mixture and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture set for 20 minutes or more for flavors to meld.

Serve with grilled or broiled chicken, pork or fish.