Pico de Gallo is a classic Mexican salsa with an interesting name. If you translate it, you get “beak of the rooster”. But trust me, no roosters were harmed in the making of this recipe – Pico de Gallo is vegan! Apparently, there’s no clear answer on where the rooster association comes from (we’d love to hear that story). However, we do know that homemade Pico de Gallo is fresh, easy, and bursting with bright flavors!
What’s in a Name?
Actually, Pico de Gallo isn’t the only name for this recipe. It’s also known as “salsa fresca” (fresh sauce), or “salsa cruda” (raw sauce). However, our favorite is “salsa bandera” – or flag sauce. This might leave you asking, why “flag sauce”. Well, by all means, we’ll give you a hint: what are the colors of the Mexican flag?
Red, White, and Green
Yes – you guessed it! Indeed, the red tomatoes, white onions, and green chilis/cilantro match Mexico’s national colors. Overall, the key to a great Pico de Gallo recipe is getting these iconic ingredients as fresh as possible! This means your tomatoes should be ripe and red. In addition, the chilis should be green with taut skin. Also, pay attention to your cilantro – avoid bunches with yellow or blackened leaves. Finally, choose onions with thin shiny skin and no mushy spots.
Remember – in a Pico de Gallo recipe everything is fresh and raw – your salsa is only as good as your ingredients!
Putting your Pico Together
It’s worth making an effort to chop your ingredients very finely. As a result, you’ll get a little of each ingredient in every bite. Furthermore, smaller bits of salsa are easier to pick up on a chip, and won’t spill out of a taco as easily. You can definitely just take a “chop it up and throw it together” approach for Pico de Gallo, but we do have some optional recipe tips:
- Firstly, if you find raw onions too sharp, just soak them in cold water for around 10 minutes after chopping them.
- In addition, you might find your pico to be a little too “wet” for nachos, tacos, etc. To get around this, serve it with a fork or slotted spoon.
- Or alternatively, you can drain your chopped tomatoes in a strainer for about an hour before mixing with the other ingredients.
When it comes to the chili, the best way to manage the heat from the jalapeños is to remove the white pith and seeds. In contrast, if (like us) you want to punch it up, leave the pith/seeds and add more chili. Alternatively, you can swap the jalapeños for some hotter serranos!
Now that you have your proud Pico de Gallo ready, what are you going to pair it with? Obviously, the simplest choice is to scoop it up with tortilla chips (you can’t go wrong). Otherwise, go ahead and spoon it on almost any Mexican (or Mexican-inspired) dish you can get your hands on! Alternatively, you can go outside the box. This salsa tastes great on a Tofu Scramble, and really spices up a Vegan Burger!
We hope you get a kick out of our Pico de Gallo recipe. If you make it, we’d love to hear about it in a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better.Print
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