Though I have always loved Mexican food, I don’t think I actually had true, authentic Mexican food (except for my mom’s “bunuelos”) until the summer after 8th grade when I had the rare opportunity to spend 6 weeks down in Mexico with a family that was “friends of friends”. They had 2 daughters the same age as my sister and I, and what a wonderful experience it was! We traveled all over Mexico and the food was phenomenal. Besides the warm, fresh-out of-the-oven crackers enjoyed at a little restaurant nestled in the narrow, cobblestone streets of Taxco, I could just about eat my weight in a fresh, tangy condiment called “Pico de Gallo”. Also served as an appetizer, it quickly became my go-to amigo at every meal! So refreshing on a scorching hot day after long hours of sightseeing! Just about every restaurant in America serves it now, and it’s so very easy to make! And it’s literally pennies a serving, especially when you grow your own tomatoes and peppers! You can use this as a condiment on just about any main dish, side dish, or appetizer, or serve all by itself with tortilla chips warmed in the oven. We will be enjoying this tonight on my Authentic Grilled Steak Tacos, and I’m sure I will sneak a bite or two while out on the deck grilling! 😉 Be sure to include this fresh and healthy treat at your next barbecue!
*Pico de Gallo is also known as Salsa Fresca, Salsa Cruda, and Salsa Picada as well as variations.
PICO de GALLO
6 garden fresh roma tomatoes, *also known as “plum” tomatoes
1/2 of a medium-sized red/purple onion
2 large, or 3 small, fresh jalapeños
1/3 – 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves, no stems (*can sub flat leaf parsley if sensitive to the flavor of cilantro)
1/4 tsp. finely minced garlic
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
Thinly slice off stem end of tomatoes. Quarter each, turn each quarter on it’s side and slice off inside membrane. Most of the seeds will fall off with it, remove any left by scraping with a small spoon. Lay cut pieces flesh side-down onto double-layer of paper towels to drain. Slice stem ends off of jalapeños, slice in half, scrape out membranes and seeds with a small spoon as well. Dice the tomatoes, jalapeños and the red/purple onion into very small pieces. (1/8 – 1/4″ dice). Toss into medium-sized bowl. Finely chop cilantro leaves and add along with the rest of ingredients. Stir well. Chill in fridge for at least a half an hour. *Can make up to a day in advance. I like to dump mine into my large mesh strainer before putting into a serving bowl to remove excess water and juices. Serve chilled or room temperature.
Makes 3 cups. (*Depending on size of tomatoes.)