Quick, Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo)
Fresh tomato salsa makes any day feel like summer. It takes mere minutes to make and its fresh, spicy, tart flavour is sure to brighten any meal. Try this quick recipe to make any day feel like a fiesta.
Fresh tomato salsa, also known as Pico de Gallo (rooster’s beak) in Spanish, is probably the most common Mexican sauce. There is good reason for its popularity. It’s not only delicious and versatile, it’s also easy to make and totally addictive.
Nobody knows why pico de gallo was originally named for a rooster’s beak. Hence, theories abound on the subject. Personally, I always believed this salsa’s name was derived from its peppery bite — which can be ramped up or down according to your taste.
Versions of pico de gallo are found throughout Mexico. A raw sauce, which adds freshness to just anything, it’s also a tasty, fresh dip for tortilla chips.
There are many jarred versions of tomato salsa, which are often cooked. While some, particularly the Mexican brands, are very tasty, these sauces are (in my opinion) better companions to cooked foods. When it comes to chips, I adore the sweet, juicy, freshness of a proper, homemade tomato salsa. Since it takes mere minutes to make, there’s no reason not to prepare this Mexican treat from scratch!
About this Recipe
Fresh tomato salsa is a very easy recipe. The only key to success is ensuring that you mince your onions and chiles sufficiently. After all, nobody likes to get a big chunk of chilli or raw onion in their mouth!
Now that most of the world is locked down with coronavirus, you may have difficulty getting some ingredients. Never fear. Almost every ingredient can be swapped out with something else.
If you’ve only got lemons at the moment, that’s fine. Swap in fresh lemon juice (or the juice of another tart citrus) for the lime. Don’t, however, resort to bottled lemon juice. Unfortunately, bottled lemon juices often taste overly bitter and sour.
I recommend white onion. However, you could easily substitute red or yellow onions. I’ve often made this recipe with green onions, and it’s equally tasty — just different.
If you’re not getting jalapeño peppers in your market just now, swap in serrano chiles. Green finger chiles could also be used. Different chiles do have different flavours. However, they’re all tasty and each chilli will add the necessary bit of heat to your salsa. (Pro Tip: Chillis keep beautifully in the freezer. Stock up when you find them and freeze whatever you can’t use immediately.)
Lastly, what if there are no tomatoes? While this will result in a very different salsa, it’s still not a train smash. Consider swapping in other fruits. Grilled peaches are delicious. Mango and pineapple also make very tasty salsa. The options are limited only by your imagination and — of course — your tastebuds.
Most of all, I hope you enjoy this delicious tomato salsa every bit as much as my family does. Bon appétit!