Pico de Gallo, AKA Salsa Fresca is made using fresh tomatoes, onions, coriander and lime…and usually chilli too, but I have missed the chillies out for this easy peasy, family friendly version. Serve with all your Mexican favourites, but especially good on my Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos!
Quite often when I make Mexican style food, I will throw together a quick and easy little salsa using fresh tomatoes, like the one in this recipe – but I’d never really stopped to think about the fact that this version of salsa, though similar to the ones I’ve always been served in Mexican restaurants, is totally different to the kind you usually buy in a jar from the supermarkets to dunk your tortilla chips in!
This was until I stumbled across the term Pico de Gallo in another recipe – it turns out the kind of salsa I usually make, using fresh tomatoes, is actually called Pico de Gallo, or sometimes Salsa Fresca – literally ‘fresh sauce’, whereas the kind of liquid sauce you dip your tortilla chips in is called salsa roja – literally ‘red sauce’, and is made with cooked tomatoes. In fact there are a whole load of different salsas out there, including salsa verde, salsa negro and salsa taquera – for more information, do check out this fascinating Wikipedia article on salsas.
Actually variations on my salsa recipe have already appeared a few times on Easy Peasy Foodie, but I wanted this lovely Easy Peasy Salsa Fresca recipe to have its own entry on my blog, so it could be more easily found and so I could link to it from other recipes.
This version is the version I usually make to go with Mexican dishes I am making. Normally Pico de Gallo contains chillies – usually fresh serranos, jalapeños or habaneros, according to my useful Wikipedia article, but I am a total wuss when it comes to chillies – especially fresh ones, so I usually leave them out – I like the freshness and zing you get with chilli-less salsa, and personally find it contrasts well with the food I serve it with – which does usually have a little chilli in it!
Leaving the chilli out also makes this recipe much more child friendly, but if you like a little heat in your life, or if your kids just so happen to be chilli nuts, then by all means add in a little (or a lot of) fresh chilli – I’ve put it as an optional in the recipe.
This recipe would go brilliantly with many of my Mexican Inspired recipes, but especially with my Mexican Pulled Pork Tacos. Add in some Mexican Roasted Sweet Potato Cubes and/or my Mexican Spiced Cauliflower Rice and you have yourself a delicious meal.
Alternatively this salsa goes brilliantly with my Spicy Mexican Lamb Stew, Homemade Chicken Fajitas or my Slow Cooked Beef Chilli. And, although a classic Mexican recipe, this Easy Peasy Salsa Fresca actually makes a lovely accompaniment to Indian Curries and Middle Eastern Dishes as well.
So now I am fully informed (well ‘Wikipedia informed’) about the differences between Pico de Gallo and Salsa Roja, I think I need to start developing my own Easy Peasy Salsa Roja, don’t I? Watch this space!!
Oh and incidentally the name Pico de Gallo means Rooster’s beak, which is said to be because you make a beak shape to pick up the salsa using your fingers and thumb (well I don’t generally use my fingers, but apparently that was the traditional way!)
Easy Peasy Salsa Fresca (Pico de Gallo)
- 1 red onion diced
- Juice of 1 lime (or ½ lemon)
- 200 g cherry tomatoes (ideally the really good ones), quartered
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 twists black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro), plus extra for garnish
Mix the red onion and lime/lemon juice together, then add in the other ingredients and mix again.
Sprinkle a little extra coriander on top and serve.
In my version of Salsa Fresca I don’t use chillies, but if you like your salsa a little hotter try using ½ - 1 fresh chilli (e.g. serrano, jalapeño or habanero), deseeded and diced finely.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Love Mexican food? Find lots more easy peasy Mexican inspired recipes here…
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