I was out to lunch with some girlfriends the other day and we went to this little Mexican restaurant in a strip mall. Well let me tell you, this was no crappy Mexican restaurant in a strip mall at all. I had these wonderful pulled pork tacos, served with flavorful rice (you know sometimes that stuff can taste like cardboard) and delicious refried beans. Would you like to know the highlight of the meal? It was the salsa-slaw type stuff that came free with chips. I have had a lot of good (and bad) free salsas at Mexican restaurants in my life…but I have never had anything like this before. It became an immediate obsession. I had daydreams of eating this on my roof top patio while sipping a margarita (or more realistically cheap white wine). I put it on my pulled pork tacos and it was to die for. I immediately thought of how delicious this would be on fish tacos. There is a Mexican restaurant a few blocks from my house that serves the BEST fish tacos I have ever had. I can’t say anything about their other food because the only thing I ever get is their fish tacos. They are mahi mahi topped with pico de gallo, radishes, cabbage and then topped with a creamy chipotle sauce. That’s right, I said radishes. I LOVE radishes, I used to hate them when I was a kid but over the past few years I have developed a bit of a crudité crush on them, I used to go straight for the celery, but now it’s all about the radishes. Radishes aren’t something you commonly see in Mexican food (at least I don’t) but they are a wonderful addition to the fish tacos….so I thought I should add them to my slaw as well. I don’t regret it, and neither will you.
The other odd thing is this recipe is jarred jalapenos (cringe). I have never used jarred (or pickled) jalapenos, I never saw the point. I have always just used fresh…because why wouldn’t you just use fresh? When I first saw the slaw at the restaurant, I was not impressed by the clearly non-fresh jalapenos…but I’m here to tell you that in this recipe, jarred is the way to go. They add just a bit of acidity and just enough heat to bring this “slaw” together.
½ head of cabbage, shredded
3 to 4 medium/large ripe tomatoes (or the equivalent of), seeded and diced
¼ cup diced yellow onion (or more to taste)
1 cup chopped cilantro (loosely packed)
4-5 radishes sliced thinly and halved
10-15 jarred jalapenos (more or less to taste)
1 Tbs liquid from the jalapeno jar
Juice of one lime
Salt to taste
Halve the cabbage and core it. Use a knife to cut out the triangular shape of the core out of the cabbage.
Slice the cabbage to your desired thickness. I would suggest thicker if you are using it as a slaw on a taco, and slightly thinner if you are using it for tortilla chip snacking. Set aside the cabbage
Seed and dice the tomatoes. Dice the onion, and chop the cilantro. Combine these ingredients and add the salt and lime. The salt will draw a bit of moisture out of the tomatoes, helping to bring the slaw together. Taste at this point (this is your basic Pico without the heat) and add more salt, cilantro or lime to taste. Wash and slice the radishes.
Beautiful isn’t it? Also, delicious
A few notes:
Like I said this would be delicious on fish tacos
I would have posted my recipe for those, but it needs a little tweaking- I’ll post it later this summer when it’s prefect
I have big plans for canning this summer, and on that list is pickled jalapenos…this could possibly make this dish even better
When making Pico, or Pico slaw, use the BEST quality tomatoes that you can find. If the ripest ones are small little ones on the vine, use those. If all the other tomatoes besides the cherry tomatoes look like crap….quarter the cherry ones. The quality and texture of the tomatoes can really make or break something like this. Bad tomatoes are flavorless, and grainy. Find the best ones you can