Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recipe: Tomato Salsa (Salsa Fresca or Pico de Gallo)

There are all kinds of salsa out there, but for me, there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good fresh tomato salsa (also known as "Salsa Fresca" or "Pico de Gallo"). None of that goop that you see on the shelves in the supermarket can even compare to the simplest of fresh salsa. It's easy-to-prepare, delicious and a healthy addition to many meals.

The other great thing about a basic recipe like this is its adaptability. You like more tomatoes? Add them. More garlic or cilantro? Add it. This basic tomato salsa can be personalized quite easily. You can also take it in a number of directions and come up with some great recipes. Try it with roasted tomatoes (really good), or add some sweet corn kernels or black beans and you start to get some great variations.

You'll also probably want to make a little more than you think you need. It goes pretty quickly.

Another suggestion I'll make is that you always sample a small piece of the chopped chile that you decide to use. I find that the heat in supermarket chiles can vary dramatically (especially jalapenos). What was mild one week can be extremely hot the next week, even amongst peppers that look exactly the same. Sampling a small piece will avoid any unpleasant surprises in your salsa!

Tomato Salsa (Salsa Fresca or Pico de Gallo)

2 medium-small regular tomatoes or 4 or 5 plum tomatoes
Fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers to taste (scorch over an open flame until skin turns black, place in paper bag, put aside)
12 large sprigs of cilantro (chopped, stems and all)
1 large garlic clove (minced)
1 small onion (chopped and rinsed in a strainer under cold water.)
1-1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp sea salt

Finely chop tomatoes and add to a bowl.

Remove the jalapenos from the paper bag and rinse the skin off under running water. Cut open, remove seeds and chop finely. Test for desired heat and add to tomato mix. (BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH YOUR EYES. WASH HANDS WHEN FINISHED)

Add the cilantro to the tomatoes and chilies.

Add the chopped onion.

Add the lime juice and salt (to taste) to the mix. Blend together well and set aside for flavors to blend.

Some folks will chuck this into a food processor and chop it until smooth. I don't like my salsa that way, you might.

Tomato Salsa from Chop Onions, Boil Water - World Food at Home by Henry Krauzyk

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