How To: Make Pico De Gallo (Salsa Mexicana)

Make Pico De Gallo (Salsa Mexicana)

How to Make Pico De Gallo (Salsa Mexicana)

I keep Pico De Gallo around all the time. I find it is very versatile and can be used for any meal. My youngest son loves to cook and it was one of the first things I taught him to make. As you read my writings about food I've made, you will find a lot of references to the pico. I've made up this little recipe to give you a smile as well as the ingredients and method.

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 Roma tomatoes.  You can use any tomatoes you like but I think the Roma are the most flavorful.  They are also small so they are a little more work than a bigger tomato would be but again, I think they are worth the effort.
  • 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes.  I know, it's supposed to be fresh but I just can't get the flavor I want with all fresh tomatoes.
  • 3 nice jalapenos
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 nice bunch of cilantro
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons minced garlic depending on taste
  • 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1  6 pack of beer

Method

Crack open a beer and take a few sips to prepare yourself for all this slicing and dicing.

Step 1

Peel and dice the onion. The onion bits need to be about 1/4 inch and as uniform as you can make them. Toss it in the bowl. This may make you cry so drink the rest of the beer to drown your sorrows.

Step 2

Crack open another beer. Dice all of the tomatoes. These also need to be about 1/4 inch and uniform in size. Toss them in the bowl with the onions. This will take a while and you might be tired so drink some beer and rest for a minute.

Step 3

Now mince the whole bunch of cilantro. I try to kind of chiffonade but there is no trick to this. Just chop it as fine as you can. It should resemble lawn clippings when you're done. Toss this in the bowl too. Finish that beer before it gets warm.

Step 4

Crack open another beer. Seed the peppers. This is important. You don't want the heat from the seed pods in the salsa. Dice the peppers small. The peppers need to be about 1/8 inch dice. Much smaller than the tomatoes and onions so they will disperse evenly and the flavors can meld better without getting a huge chunk of pepper in any one bite. 

Warning

You might want to think about using some sterile gloves when handling the peppers.  The capsaicin will stay on your fingers even after washing.  If you rub your eyes or pick your nose later, you will be reminded about the peppers.  Drink some beer and wash your hands thoroughly.

Step 5

Open the can of tomatoes and drain the juice. They will be a little larger than the ones you diced so I chop them up a bit to match the other tomatoes. Now check the salt content again because it will probably need some more. 

Step 6

Add the garlic and squeeze the juice from the whole lime into the bowl.

Step 7

Mixe the ingredients gently. Check the salt content and set the dish in the refrigerator for an hour or two to let the flavors meld.

Tips

  • To make black bean and corn salsa, I open a can of black beans and rinse them, open a small can of Niblets corn and rinse it and toss in a bowl.  I then take part of the pico de gallo and mix in until it has the right consistency and looks like salsa.  You will need to add a bit more salt and some more lime juice is nice.
  • For some really nice fresh guacamole, peel an avocado, mash it up with a fork and stir in some pico de gallo.  The acid from the lime and tomatoes will keep the avocados from turning dark.

Now you have 2 beers left so invite a friend and open some chips and enjoy!

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