Pico di Gallo is a classic Mexican salsa used mainly as an accompaniment to tortillas, tacos, quesadillas and nachos. Deliciously raw, easy to assemble and already vegan, Pico di Gallo is a go-to in this house, as a salad, side dish or snack.
For an easy, healthy topping for home baked crackers, as a cheese board relish or to kick a toasted sandwich up a notch, the fresh crunch of ripe tomato, sharp shallot and zesty, limey flavour of Pico di Gallo works every time!
Recommended with this recipe: Try Pico di Gallo on our Yellow Cornmeal Tacos or with our Smoky Lentil Tacos!
Pico di Gallo is high in vitamins C, A and K, is naturally low in fat and bursting with the essential antioxidants our bodies crave. The best thing about this salsa is its versatility – you can dress it up any way you like.
We add whatever lost and leftover salad vegetables we find wilting in the depths of the fridge.
Try substituting red onion for shallots, use sweet peppers instead of chili ones, add basil, parsley or any greens or add fresh herbs from your window box. Switch out the salt for a pinch of local seaweed to top up your B12 or leave the seasoning out altogether if you prefer.
Mexican cuisine is full of delectable salsa recipes which call for the freshest, ripest vegetables so use your imagination, add a mashed avocado, a tin of sweetcorn or chop in some fresh green olives.
We used a Serenade chili with medium heat to suit our Irish tastes, but you can step it up with a jalapeno, poblano or scale the Scoville Scale with a scotch bonnet if you really like to sweat while you eat.
Pico de Gallo is a bright, vibrant mix of freshness and colour so consider this when choosing tomatoes for your recipe. We used a mixture of sweetelle, bamano and fleshy canario varieties for different shades of yellow, green and red.
Remember to use locally grown produce which are ripe and in season for the freshest salsa of all!
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- 2 shallots
- 1 chili pepper
- 1 lime
- 1 large bunch fresh coriander a.k.a. cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Prepare the tomatoes by removing the seeds and chopping finely into a mixing bowl.
- De-seed the pepper, chop the shallots and pepper finely, add salt and the juice of the lime.
- Mix to combine, tear in a large handful of coriander and mix roughly.
- Garnish with the rind of the lime, fine grated, and serve in a large sharing bowl.
A ‘true’ salsa recipe would call for roasted tomatoes for a deeper, more developed flavor, but there is evidence this raw side dish has been around since the Aztecs.
Pico de Gallo translates from Spanish as ‘beak of the rooster.’
Why? Well, some say this is because of the way it was originally eaten – plucked up between pinched thumb and forefinger which resembles a birds beak pecking at the salsa.
We’re not sure how true this legend is, but Pico di Gallo is best served with crisp tortillas, barbecue beans, smoky lentil stews and a cornflour taco – fresh off the pan. This warm, earthy kind of food is definitely made to be eaten with your hands.
Pico di Gallo can be assembled ahead of time and keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
At around 90% water, this salsa makes a great side dish for a healthy diet or those watching their weight. One serving is an easy way to get up to 2 of your 5 vegetables a day with a fresh, tangy taste!
So, what are you waiting for, pinch a piece of Pico di Gallo and dig in!
Ooh, before we go! As an occasional but delicious treat, be sure to try our Pico salsa next time you’re snacking on a delectable Pringle!
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