Tomato salsa goes by many names. Also known as ‘salsa fresca,’ ‘salsa cruda’ or ‘salsa bandera,’ it’s a traditional Mexican dish of raw ingredients that’s quick and easy to make, nutritious and delicious. My favourite name is ‘pico de Gallo.’ The literal translation is ‘beak of the rooster.’ It’s believed to be called that because people used to eat it by picking it up between their thumb and fingers. An alternative theory is that the the serrano pepper, a traditional ingredient, resembles the beak of a bird. We’ve just spent a week at the beach, and the kids loved eating this tomato salsa on the deck, fresh from their showers after a hard day of swimming. The colourful birdlife would come over for a chat (don’t worry, they didn’t eat the corn chips).
There was a glut of mixed cherry tomatoes at the local shops, so I picked up a few punnets. I like the flavour of red onions, which tend to be a bit sweeter than white onions. I also used jalapeño instead of serrano pepper, and I included both the lime zest and the juice. Hold onto the used lime. Store it in the fridge until you have a few lemons and limes to make a tangy syrup for cordial, as you can see in the photo. I’ve been inspired by the good people of the Cornersmith cafe https://cornersmith.com.au/shop/use-it-all/ Their cookbook has a great recipe for mango skin syrup, so I’ve been keeping all my fruit skins to make cordial, popsicles and syrups for granita (watch this space for a granita recipe soon). Keep the stalks and roots of the coriander, too. You can use them in this recipe: https://atamandastable.com.au/caramelised-onions-with-coriander/
What’s your favourite beach holiday snack?
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- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, washed and diced substitute with 2-3 large tomatoes
- 1 lime zest and juice
- 1/2 onion, peeled and chopped substitute with eschallot or white onion
- 1 handful coriander leaves, washed and coarsely chopped
- 1/2-1 jalapeño pepper, seeds reomved and finely chopped substitutue with serrano pepper, birds eye chilli, or chill flakes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- flaked sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Season to taste - you may wish to add more salt or lime juice. Add the extra half of the jalapeno for more heat!
- Serve with corn chips or toasted pita bread.