Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa)

Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa)
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pico de gallo
The “beak of the rooster?” What?

Here’s our first recipe that uses up a bunch of tomatoes: Pico de Gallo. Did you know that Pico de Gallo means “beak of the rooster?” Hmm. We have no idea why this fresh salsa is named after a chicken’s beak. Perhaps because of the size of the pieces of vegetables that make up this salsa, or perhaps because the bright red tomato pieces look something like rooster beaks, or perhaps roosters like this salsa. We just don’t know, but we do like the name.

From what little we know about roosters, or chickens in general, we’re sure that they’d love having those pieces of tomatoes. But we aren’t sharing. Instead, we’ll be eating this all ourselves. Now, our version of Pico de Gallo doesn’t follow the traditional recipe, as we don’t use the cilantro called for in most recipes. We just don’t like cilantro. To us, it has a weird soapy taste and smells funny; if there’s a tiny bit in and already prepared dish, we’ll eat it, but it’s not as if we’d put it in anything we make ourselves. We didn’t follow a recipe, we just mimicked the fresh salsas we’ve eaten around town.

Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa)

Yield: 1 quart

Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa)


  • 8 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaved parsley
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapenos
  • Juice of one lime (or lemon)
  • Kosher salt to taste

Abbreviated Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and add salt as needed.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.


Ingredient discussion:

The real key to making great-tasting salsa is the citrus juice. You can use either lime or lemon, depending on what you have on hand. We like using fresh tomatoes. We don’t see the point of using canned tomatoes; you might as well just buy a jar of salsa, in that case. The amounts of each ingredient are just suggestions; change them if you want. Like a spicier salsa, use more peppers. Prefer something milder, use only a couple of finely minced pepper rings. If you like cilantro, use that instead of flat-leaved parsley. Want garlic in your salsa, add it. Everyone has his or her own, and we suspect that salsa is different every time. But that’s the fun of scratchin’.

Procedure in detail:

This is basically a chop and mix recipe, so we won’t really insult your intelligence with explicit directions; we’ll post a few photos of how we made ours.

plum tomatoes
We picked out the ripest tomatoes that we had on hand.
diced onion
A small onion makes about 1/4 cup of dice. And the purple color looks nice, too.
chopping parsley
Flat-leaved parsley makes a great substitute for some or all the cilantro.
chopping jalapenos
We wish we had fresh jalapenos, but in a pinch we’ll use what we have.
juicing a lime
The secret of great salsa is to use fresh citrus juice. We suggest starting with one lime and increasing if needed.
pico de gallo
We like to let the salsa sit for 30 minutes to an hour before eating. Can you wait that long?

While this Pico de Gallo is good, we think it could be even better — there are some places around town that make a great salsa, the kind that you just have to keep eating, and this one, while good, doesn’t quite make it into the great category. We’ll say 4 stars, because it’s so simple.

Worth the trouble?

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