On Sundays in Chile, my whole family enjoys a very peaceful day together. The day starts with my mother going to the Feria, where she buys the goods she needs to begin preparing lunch. Because visitors will drop by throughout the day, she always makes a large quantity of food. I remember my mother and aunts in the kitchen chopping vegetables to fill big bowls with Pebre, Chile’s most popular side dish; it is always on the table and is eaten with everything.
- ⅓ cup minced onions or scallions
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced (optional)
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl and refrigerate.
- If you're using onions instead of scallions, you may want to minimize the "bite" of the raw onion.
- If so, sprinkle the minced onions with salt and let them sit for a few minutes.
- Then press them gently in a sieve and rinse them well in running water.
This sauce will keep, refrigerated, for three or four days.
Pebre is a perfect complement to any Chilean main dish.