Scrumptious, Sophisticated, Simple Recipes That Enlighten Your Taste Buds!

Pico de Gallo aka Salsa Fresca

Pico de Gallo aka Salsa Fresca

BrookeBakes copy.jpgIn Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo literally means beak of rooster. Legend has it that fighting cocks are calmed by their handlers by placing the rooster’s head in their mouth. Yum! 😉 It is said that darkness causes birds to immediately begin the sleep cycle. Often as soon as the handler puts the bird’s head in his mouth he would be pecked on the tongue. In essence, the spices in the salsa gives the same feeling, hence “pico de gallo” is the beak of a fighting rooster biting your tongue!

In realty, many of us prefer this fresh-made, delicious, piquant dip with tortilla chips!


  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ – ¾ cups red or white onion, diced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped fine—include seeds for heat *See Chef’s Notes!
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    Chunky Style


  • For the chunky version, simply stir tomatoes, green bell pepper, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  • For smoother salsa, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse 7-8 times until desired consistency.

Serve right away or better still let sit for a bit to allow the flavors to mingle.

***Additional Add Ins After the Processor Pulses:

  • Black Beans
  • Roasted Corn
  • Diced Chiles
  • Chopped Tomatillos
  • Roasted Pablano or Hatch Chiles, Chopped
Smoother Salsa Fresca

Chef’s Notes:

Wear rubber gloves when handling and chopping hot peppers. If you forget your gloves and your fingers are on fire, try these solutions:

The burning sensation after cutting chili peppers comes from oils that coat the skin and are tricky to wash off. Simple soap and water doesn’t normally do the trick. Use one of the following to put the fire out immediately! Especially before you touch your eyes!

  1. Dish Soap – If it can cut through oil and grease on our dishes, it can do the same for our hands! Most dish soaps have oil-dissolving properties that are above and beyond regular hand soap.
  2. Rubbing Alcohol – Chili oil is more soluble in alcohol than in water, so a good splash of rubbing alcohol can help wash it away. High-proof liquor like vodka can also work in a pinch. Feel free to take a sip or two (liquor only) if the pain gets too intense 😉
  3. Whole Milk or Yogurt – This one has the scent of urban legend about it, but then again, chili pepper is also more soluble in fats and oils than it is in water, so maybe it would work. Advice on several internet forums say to pour the milk or yogurt into a bowl and soak your hands until the burning sensation stops.



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