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What's your trick for irresistible, perfectly-balanced pico de gallo/fresh salsa?

Pico

I just made the best batch of my life. I had a bunch of very fresh, local spring onions a friend gave me so I put a lot in...more than twice what I usually do. The pico came out AMAZING!

Approximate recipe was 3 tomatoes (diced), 2 handfuls chopped cilantro, 2 cloves minced garlic, 4 spring onions (white and green parts), one tablespoon vinegar, two tablespoons olive oil, half a lemon, 1/4 tsp hot chili powder and a generous pinch of salt.

I can not stop eating it. Now I'm curious to know what others do to thiers.

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

asked about 3 years ago
13 answers 1770 views
Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 3 years ago

But where are the fresh hot peppers? I mean jalapeno or serrano. Your balance of flavors is great, but toss the chili powder somewhere outside to keep rodents and dorm rats away. You don't need much, but a single jalapeno chopped up will brighten up the party quite a bit. Caution: habanero is the road to ruin.

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added about 3 years ago

I agree. A pepper would be the topper. Also, I'll sometimes add lime instead of lemon. Equally good.

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

Interesting. I made salsa verde tonight. Excellent alternative to tomato based salsa.

Tomatillos, poblano peppers, onion, garlic. Roasted..and blended. With lime juice, salt, and a touch of cilantro and cumin.

Perfect stuff. For vegan, use it as a topping for black bean burrito with rice. Or, as I did tonight a topping for some tamilies (frozen ones only filled with masa, soaked and steamed opened and filled with Carna Asasda (not vegan of course) and topped with salsa verde).

Dsc03010
added about 3 years ago

It's so easy to become addicted to it, isn't it? This summer, try making it with red, orange and yellow pear, grape or cherry tomatoes; it's a pain to chop them, but it's got a sweetness that we just love.

Most of the time, I use plum tomatoes (I grow red, yellow and orange paste tomatoes) because I don't like how watery it turns a half hour after the salt is added. I roast the tomatoes on the gas burner, peel them, cut them in half width-wise, stick my little finger into the interstices to pull out the seeds and the innards, then dice them. If I'm using cherry tomatoes, they get quartered, and I try to leave as much juice and seeds on the cutting board as I can.

If we only have cooking onions, I dice them, put them in a colander and rinse them with hot tap water. Two or three green onions are sliced and added last so that the green parts are less likely to become bruised and limp.

I add a roasted poblano or a couple of roasted Anaheim peppers, sometimes a roasted red pepper, garlic, cilantro, kosher salt and lime juice.

Dsc03010
added about 3 years ago

I forgot the roasted tomatillos.

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

@betterirene.

One of our favorite sauces for fish, chicken. (pan fried).

The sauce you describe with the grape tomatoes/peppers/onions/garlic...cooked down. add some water stock..cook down some more until bright red. (yes, a bit heavy handed)...but you want a creamy sauce. To finish: a shot of tequila, lime juice. (more salt if needed).
And remove off heat.and stir in a couple of tablespoons of soft butter to make a creamy sauce.

Serve that over a cornmeal crusted fish...or chicken cutlet. With green onion garnish. .and lime zest.

Anita_date
Anitalectric

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

added about 3 years ago

Oh, man. My mouth is watering.

@pierino: I wish I'd had a jalepeño. What is serrano like? Not sure if I've tried. @Sam1148: I use (and adore) a similar recipe for salsa verde for breakfast chilaquiles! And also as a base for tortilla soup. Now I must try it in salsa. Thanks for the tip. Also, your tomatillo cream sauce sounds like a Latin version of vodka sauce. Love the recipe (I'd go for coconut milk instead of cream). @betteirene: I love grape tomatoes in guacamole, but somehow never thought to put them in my salsa. Definitely sounds worth the extra effort.

PS- I love all the roasting going on! Must add so much smoky flavor. Plus, it's summer, so everyone has the grill fired-up anyway. Why not?

Lovely suggestions. Can't wait for the next taco Tuesday!

Sit2
added about 3 years ago

@Antia.

I'm trying to stay vegan here. How about fried green tomatoes in the tacos with the addition of tequlia butter sauce (okay butter maybe not vegan). Just a coconut milk as you mentioned with lime...basil...and the crunchy fried green tomato (tomattillas). in the tacos.
That's going more thai-mex-fusion there tho. But it sounds good.

Zester_003
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 3 years ago

Anitalectric, the serrano pepper is smaller than a jalapeno, similar shape, lighter color and noticeably hotter. At least in California they are a staple of the produce section.

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added about 3 years ago

Growing uo in southern california all the little hole in the wall burrito and taco joints always had the best pico de gallo. I once was luck enough to catch the owner ( a elderly mexican lady) make the house pico and discovered a secret that I would never use until I saw it. She chopped onion, tomato and jalapeno then added chopped cilantro and lime juice. The kicker was Lawry's garlic salt. She saw me watching her and she said that the real secret was making a day ahead of time. Although I used fresh garlic in mine it just wasn't as good as this particular place that everyone always raved about. And I was usually the only pale face in the crowd at that place.

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added about 3 years ago

I always add a bit of homemade pickled jalapenos/serranos. I use a Diana Kennedy recipe, it's wonderful...

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added almost 3 years ago

Homemade fresh salsa is the best. You never find any fresh salsa's on the store shelves that offer the same freshness and great taste as homemade. I usually make my own. For me the chili powder is what gives my salsa the come back for more taste. I agree you don't need much.

The other day though I was curious and i tried a new Fresh Salsa product that seems to be selling in many stores in Southern California lately. I am so glad I gave it a shot!!!!!

This has to be the best salsa I have ever tasted.

My suggestion ..... Give it a try. Its called Chips N' Dip Fresh Salsa.. In fact, I found there website www.signaturesalsa.com

Great talking to everyone about our salsa experiences

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added almost 3 years ago

ChefDaddy, I'm also a native Angeleno. My Dad makes the best salsa, and I recently found out that he also adds a bit of Lawry's to his salsa. It must be an LA thing ;)