Part three of Street Tacos.
You’ve had it more times than you can count. But have you made it at home?
To be honest, I hope you read this recipe one time and then never again. Why? Because this is one of those foods that’s all about making it your way! And once you read it, you’ll always know how to make it.
Also known as salsa fresca, the base recipe for this addictive condiment is simply a mix of fresh tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
It is quite similar to roasted tomato salsa but it’s strictly fresh cut vegetables. And today I laced it with variety from the farmers market by picking up several different types of tomatoes and onions.
Okay, that picture is a little misleading because I ended up only using one of the yellow onions. (I can get a bit too enthusiastic about beautiful onions, it’s a curse, but I try to rein it in.)
Like I said, today I’m using a few different kinds of tomato because I couldn’t resist the variety I found walking around the farmers market but you can just use one kind. Roma, cherry, and grape tomatoes work particularly well because their flavor-to-water percentage is lower. But really, anything with good flavors will work just fine.
Step one is to seed and dice the tomatoes into a strainer over a bowl (or a colander), sprinkle them with a bit of salt, and walk away for at least 10-15 minutes. This draws water out of the tomatoes. And since watery pico de gallo is inherently sad, we make sure not to skip this step.
Once I know how much tomato I have, I dice up about half as much onion. (I told you, I like onions.) My number one preference for this is a combination of white and green onions but today I had yellow, red, and green. Variety is the spice of life, said someone somewhere.
Then, a couple of jalapenos. Okay, here’s where you have to use your judgement. Taste your peppers. How hot are they vs. how hot do you want your pico de gallo? Remove the seeds (less hot) or don’t (more hot). Use jalapenos (less hot) or serranos (more hot). Just make sure to chop them very fine and remember that it’s a lot easier to add more later than it is to take some out.
Mince some garlic. Chop up a handful of cilantro — stems are okay, just finely chop it.
Stir in the juice of half of a lime. Taste it. Want more? Add the other half. (Or serve it with lime wedges and let people add more themselves!)
Cover the bowl with some plastic and stick it in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. Or a whole hour if you’ve got time. This let’s the flavors all come together.
Before you serve it, stir it well then drain off any stray lime juice and tomato water.
Finally, now’s the time to season it. Add some salt, stir, taste, and optionally repeat until you’re happy.
Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is all about the incredible flavor of a few fresh vegetables. So good, so easy. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.
- 2 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 cup onions, diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon jalapenos, minced (and maybe seeded)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Dice the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt, and let drain in a strainer or colander for 10-15 minutes to draw out the excess water.
Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Stir, drain off excess liquid if needed, season to taste, and serve.
And that’s it. I’ll tell you, we eat a ton of this while tomatoes are in season. On tacos, chips, and even scrambled eggs, for example. Be creative. (I’ve even put it on fresh pasta!)