Calabacitas con Pico de Gallo (Sautéed Zucchini with Fresh Salsa)


Slideshow: Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes


  • Servings: 4

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 chile de árbol, minced (see Note)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 cups Pico de Gallo
  • 1/2 cup queso blanco (see Note)

How to make this recipe

  1. Place a deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the chile and garlic and stir for 1 minute to flavor the oil. Add the zucchini and sauté for 3 minutes to soften. Add the Pico de Gallo, and continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to break down and the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, fold in the cheese and serve.


Chile de árbol gets its name from the Spanish word for tree (árbol) because these chiles grow hanging from trees or small bushes. This small, frequently used chile is closely related to the pico de pajaro (beak of the bird) and cayenne chiles. It is 2 to 3 inches long, scarlet red, when cooked, adds a smoky, grassy flavor backed with an acidic heat. Chile de árbol is often used to flavor oils and vinegars.

Queso blanco is very similar to mozzarella—a great melting cheese that is widely available in Latin groceries. When you simply see the word queso, like on a torta, chances are it's referring to blanco.

Contributed By Published July 2013

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