Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
Pico de gallo is a fresh, zesty salsa made with chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt. It’s perfect for tacos, burritos, and chips.
It originates from the Ancient Aztec culture and is widely used in Mexican cuisine today. The first time I remember ever having pico de gallo was when I was seven. My family and I had just gotten back home from a swap meet, and my grandmother was testing a new food processor kitchen gadget she picked up from a vendor there. Thinking back, I think she used serrano chilis because I remember my mouth absolutely burning.
Pico de gallo generally uses the milder jalapeño pepper, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that for yourself. The main ingredients for my easy Pico de Gallo are tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. You can have it with tortilla chips, added to tacos, over nachos with guacamole, topped on your favorite quesadillas, inside burritos, or on burgers. There’s really no limit, except maybe in desserts. If you try that though, let me know how it works out.
What Is The Difference Between Salsa And Pico De Gallo?
Pico de gallo and typical salsa are both delicious Mexican condiments, but they are prepared differently. Pico de gallo is a fresh, uncooked salsa that is made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and jalapenos. It’s a bright, vibrant, and flavorful mix that is usually served as a topping or dip. Typical salsa, on the other hand, is cooked and usually has a smoother texture. It’s made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili peppers, and spices, and is often blended together in a food processor.
It’s a bit spicier than pico de gallo and has a more intense flavor. Both salsas are great for adding a zesty kick to tacos, burritos, nachos, and other Mexican dishes, but if you’re looking for something more fresh and vibrant, pico de gallo is the way to go.
What Makes Salsa Spicy?
Salsa is spicy because of the peppers that are used to make it. Peppers get their spiciness from a compound called capsaicin; the higher the concentration of capsaicin, the spicier the pepper. Some of the hottest peppers are the habanero and the carolina reaper, which can be 100 times hotter than a jalapeño. When you eat something spicy, the capsaicin triggers a reaction in your nervous system. This reaction causes your body to release endorphins, which create a pleasurable sensation and can even make you feel a bit of a “high”. So, the next time you’re enjoying a spicy salsa, remember that it’s the capsaicin that’s giving you that spicy kick!
If you’re more sensitive to spicy food and want a much more mild salsa, I recommend scraping out and discarding the seeds and pith inside the jalapeños. This is where the majority of capsaicin is stored in the pepper.
Tools For The Job
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- A serrated knife is best for cutting tomatoes, they tear right through the skin.
- A sharp chef’s knife is better for cutting onions and other vegetables.
- You could also use a v-slicer or mandoline to chop them.
- Or a food processor to throw everything in and pulse-blend.
How To Make Pico De Gallo
Gather the ingredients to make pico de gallo. In the photo, you can see chopped tomatoes, diced onions, chopped jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, black pepper, and salt.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then allow it to sit for at least a half hour to allow the flavors time to blend. Serve with tortilla chips, over nachos, on tacos, or with quesadillas or burritos. Enjoy!
Pico De Gallo Recipe (Salsa Fresca)
Makes approx. 3 cups
- 4 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1-2 jalapeños, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then allow it to sit for half an hour to allow the flavors time to combine. Serve with tortilla chips, over nachos, on tacos, or with quesadillas or burritos. Enjoy!
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2 thoughts on “Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca)”
This is delicious 😋😋😋
I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂