“Chop, Chop!” – The 5 tastiest Pico de Gallo variations

pico de gallo1Mexico’s most famous salsa in any Mexican restaurant world-wide has to be ‘Pico de Gallo’. This fresh chopped Salsa contains diced Roma tomato, onion, serrano chili, cilantro, salt and lime juice. It’s a wonderful snack to serve with tortilla chips or a side-dish to spice up your meal.

Not everybody knows that Pico de Gallo is also known as ‘Salsa Mexicana’ in Mexico. The name doesn’t mean that the Salsa was made in Mexico. It actually refers to the colors of the Mexican flag: red, white and green!

Cinco de Mayo is the perfect occasion to create a Pico de Gallo. Instead of the traditional recipe the Dancing Chefs at Salsa and Salsa give you the 5 tastiest variations, so you can amaze your guests at the Salsa party!

 


Jicama Pico de Gallo 

pico de gallo jaliscoThe Dancing Chefs love to be experimental and healthy! The main ingredient is Jicama, a vegetable that is known for its refreshing taste.  The recipe comes from the state of Jalisco: the land of Tequila and mariachis. Enjoy!

½ kilo or 1 pound peeled jicama, cut in strips of 1×5 centimeters

2 peeled cucumbers, remove seeds, cut in strips of 1×5 centimeters

1 small cantaloupe melon cut in strips of 1×5 centimeters

¼ cup lime juice

2 fresh Serrano or jalapeño peppers, remove seeds and membranes, cut in very thin strips

½ tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder (optional)

 

Place all the ingredients, except the chili powder, in a bowl. Mix, taste and add salt if needed. To serve, place the Pico de Gallo in a flat dish and sprinkle the chili powder on top. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

Habanero Pico de Gallo – ‘Xnipec’

xnipecThis fierce Pico de Gallo comes from the southern state of Yucatan and contains Habanero chili. This variety is not for the faint-hearted, but addictively tasty!

  • 2 big Roma tomatoes
  • Cilantro to taste
  • 1 chile habanero
  • ½ onion
  • Orange juice and vinegar
  • Sal to taste

 

Dice the tomatoes, onion and habanero chile finely. You might want to use gloves when cutting the habanero. Chop the cilantro and mix with the other ingredients. Add salt, orange juice and vinegar to taste. This salsa is used for grilled meat and fish.

 

Mango Pico de Gallo

pico de gallo mangoIf you like a sweet touch in your Pico de Gallo, try out this fruity version. It has mango, but you can use pine-apple too.

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1-2 serrano chilis
  • 1 ripe Mango
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to tast

Dice all the ingredients in medium-sized pieces. Place together in a bowl and add the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving.

 

Nopal Pico de Gallo

nopal saladNopales are thick, oval, flat, modified stems of cactus plant, eaten as a vegetable. Its young tender pads known as ‘nopalitos’, are an important part of Mexican cuisine since ancient times. Their flavor is similar to French beans and nopales are a great addition to your meals.

 

  • 1 pound (500 gr) Nopal leaves, without spines
  • 2 big Roma tomatoes
  • Cilantro to taste
  • 1 chili Serrano
  • ½ onion
  • Lime juice
  • Sal to taste

 

Dice the nopal leaves in cubes. Place into a sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes until the nopal leaves change color. Drain and place in a serving bowl to cool down. In the meanwhile dice the tomatoes, onion and chili finely. Chop the cilantro and mix with the other ingredients. Add salt and lime juice to taste. You can sprinkle ‘queso fresco’ or feta cheese on top. This salad is a great side dish and has only 50 calories per serving.

 

Melon – Bell pepper Pico de Gallo

cinco de mayoThis last variety of Pico de Gallo can be considered a ‘Salsa Fresca’, incorporating fruits and veggies. You can serve this salsa as a side-dish with roasted chicken.

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 serrano chili
  • 1 cup diced melon (or mango)
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

Dice up the ingredients and place them together in a bowl.  If you want to make a milder salsa, make sure to remove the seeds of the serrano chili. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes before serving.

 

 

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