Pico de Gallo, Salsa Fresca – Fresh Salsa
This is one of my all time, most favorite recipes. Its super simple, loaded with the best fresh vegetables, is a snap to throw together and is absolutely delicious. Best of all, my children love it, especially my oldest, for whom I developed this particular version.
Now, pico de gallo is nothing but fresh salsa. The phrase is Spanish, and means rooster’s beak. I’d love to know why, but it cracks me up when I think of it. This is also readily adaptable – this fresh salsa can be made with all kinds of different ingredients, and with everything homemade, adapt it to your own liking. Swap out the tomato for fresh mango. Add more or less heat by varying the amount of jalapeno, or by swapping out for Anaheims for milder flavor or for Serrano peppers for more intense heat. My family loves this most with a ton of fresh lime juice – we usually use up to ¼ cup.
When I’m making this pico de gallo recipe, I often make at least twice what I’ll think we need for a meal. Of course I serve it with tortilla chips – that’s our favorite way to have it, and I love seeing the Horde snatch up loads of fresh, wholesome vegetables. It’s a great little appetizer, and something that I like to put out for anytime we do a movie night. But it’s also super for a dressing for a taco salad, as a topper for tacos of all kinds, to top grilled chicken or pork chops, tossed with black beans for a quick salad or perhaps my favorite way – to top a simple cheese omelet. With a little extra fresh salsa stashed in the fridge, I’m almost halfway to second meal.
If you’d like to have a more traditional fresh salsa, drop a cup or so of the fresh pico de gallo into a blender and pulse until you have a rough puree. The couple of picky critters I feed that insist they won’t eat raw tomatoes eat the fresh salsa that way like there’s no tomorrow. Shhhh.
Transcript of the Video:
How to Make Pico de Gallo
I have a new camera man, and it’s Bladen, he’s finally gotten taller than me which means he can shoot my videos, but it’s a little bit like getting shot by John Carey, so stay with us.
It’s not John Carey. It’s Jim Carey. Ok. Today we’re going to be making pico de gallo. I make this stuff all the time, probably every other week, the kids love it, and I love it because they’re eating lots of fresh vegetables, and I’ve got a couple tricks that I want to show you, really, really, super simple.
All right, so we start out with four Roma tomatoes, and I just diced these up. And if you’re knew to cooking, and you don’t really understand the whole diced or chopped thing I’ve got a video on it. All right, so this is diced, that’s all you gotta do. And I have one small onion that I diced up and I have a video on how to dice an onion.
Bladen, you’re getting fancy with your camera work there, buddy. You can hold the camera pretty still. I’m just letting you know that. All right, I’ve got one bell pepper, and I’ve got a video on bell pepper – how to dice it, how to cut it, how to trim it, that sort of thing. And in the recipe on my website I talk about using jalapeno pepper and you can, and actually if I’m making this for just myself and my oldest son I will use a serrano. However, I want my youngest two children to start eating more raw fruits and vegetables especially all the tomato with all the wonderful vitamin C and lycopene. And I want to introduce them to a tiny bit of spicy food. This is an Anaheim pepper and if you’ve got someone who is super NOT into spicy food, an Anaheim is a great way to get it going a little bit. It’s got a little bit of heat, but not too much. It’s not going to take anybody’s head off. So this is a great introduction. Think of it as – oh – it’s a gateway pepper. That’s what it is. It’s a way to get someone started with just a hint of the flavors and a tiny bit of that lingering heat, but I swear, it’s super, super mild.
You treat this just like you would a bell pepper or a jalapeno. The shape of it is almost like a long, skinny bell pepper. Right? So that’s what we’re going to throw in here. And like I said, you know we do tons of Tex-Mex food here. We do lots of burritos and enchiladas and I’ve always got the makings of quesadillas, and I love it because it’s one of the easiest ways you can find of using up any kinds of leftovers – throw it in a quesadilla. But to make it really fabulous you need some pico de gallo to go with it.
I love the name of that. Pico de gallo. It means ‘rooster beak’ in Spanish. I ‘ve tried to figure out why it’s called rooster beak, I have no idea. But that’s what it means.
All right. Fresh cilantro. Now there are people who love fresh cilantro, and I am one of them. However my kids merely like fresh cilantro so I don’t use too much. If I were making this for myself I would probably have most of the bunch in there. But we want some of it, not all of it. And did you know there are some people who cannot stand the taste of cilantro. It’s actually genetic – Bladen is actually waving his arm at me. It’s genetic. To them cilantro tastes like soap. And they can’t help it, don’t fuss at them. They don’t mean to do it. But they’re not in the tribe.
Bladen are you paying attention to where you actually have that camera going? Because I’ve seen that camera all over the place.
Fresh lime juice. Now if all you have is the stuff in the little plastic thingy, I’m not going to say anything. But if you’re getting the other ingredients, go ahead and grab a couple of fresh limes. Ok? I like about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half. And this is kinda funny – none of my kids like raw tomato – they don’t like the texture. However, if you put some citrus and a little salt (getting a thumbs up from Bladen) it cures the tomato, and it gets rid of that kind of slimy, mucilaginous thing that happens.
All right, that was a good pinch of salt. This is kosher salt. You cannot use that much if you’ve got table salt. See how large that is? I almost always us kosher salt for everything. Matter of fact we don’t even have a salt shaker. We just use that at the table.
I will use un- or non-iodized table salt in baking. That’s about it, that’s all I use If for.
I think all in all I spent five to six minutes chopping those vegetables all together and no more than two minutes to mix it. And check that out. Fresh pico de gallo. Now my favorite way of course is to eat it with tortilla chips. Uh uh. But you can also use this to top tacos. If you really want something delicious check out my chicken tacos recipe. I also have one where you do tacos with pulled pork.
Bladen! What are you taking pictures of? The pico? All right. Anyway – we’re going to work on the camera work in these.
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So there you go. Pico de gallo. Try this out. You’re gonna love it. Oh that’s good.