How Pico de Gallo Can Make Your Summer Better

Mango peach salsa

Of all the different types of salsa, from classic mild salsa dips to Southwestern salsa recipes full of sweet corn and black beans, none is so perfectly suited for summer cooking as simple pico de gallo. Pico de gallo salsa dips vary in flavor somewhat, but their key feature is that they’re fresh salsas (known as salsa fresca) using all raw ingredients — meaning you won’t be heating up your kitchen by stewing tomatoes on the stove.

How to Make Pico de Gallo

Most traditionally, pico de gallo consists of tomatoes, onion, fresh serrano chilies, salt and lime juice. But substitutions are common; you can use jalapeno or habanero peppers instead of serranos, switch out lemon juice for of lime juice, or add a few additional flavors if you like.

Preparation is extremely simple. Just chop up a dozen or so Roma tomatoes and two or three onions (you should have equal quantities of each once chopped), dice as many peppers as you need for your desired level of heat, roughly chop a handful of cilantro, and combine. Sprinkle with salt and squeeze with the juice of half a lime, and you’re done. If even that seems like too much work, you should know that fresh salsa from the grocery store can be just as delicious, since the recipe is so simple.

How to Use Pico de Gallo

Fresh salsa is extremely low in calories (which makes sense, if you look at the ingredients), making it the perfect way to add some spice to your favorite foods while keeping them nice and healthy. Of course, the simplest way to use pico de gallo is just digging in with some crispy tortilla chips — perhaps as a dip trio with guacamole and sour cream. But if you’re looking to elevate it a little more, you can try tossing it with grilled shrimp, throwing it on top of a grilled chicken and artichoke salad, or sandwiching it between a perfectly cooked burger patty and some melted cheddar on a cheeseburger.

What are your favorite ways to use fresh salsa? Do you make your own, or go for the convenience of store-bought varieties? Join the discussion in the comments.

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