(the best) Fresh Pico de Gallo

Summer is coming.  Margaritas will be soured.  Beers will be put on ice.  Chips and salsa are only logical.  I give you the best.

Nate and I started making this salsa when we first started to frequent Famers' Markets in the summer.  Really, it's technically pico de gallo because it's not cooked and it's chunkier than a salsa, which has a smoother texture.

It's a recipe that fits all of my criteria:  it must take little time, effort and money for the ingredients.  Plus it's pretty much all healthy stuff, so ignore the deep-fried chips you eat it with, and the cocktail(s) on the side, and it's practically a health food.

I know there are many versions, but here's my go-to that's never failed me.  

This size gives me about 4 cups worth of salsa - plenty for 4-6 adults to munch in one sitting (or maybe two people over the course of a long afternoon.  Don't judge.)  I wish I was the kind of chef that was more precise in her measurements, but that just ain't me.  And you love me for it.
  • 5-6 roma tomatoes (or other seasonably wonderful tomatoes), chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • large bunch of cilantro, chopped (I'm talking a fistful here)
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • salt to taste (usually about 1-2 tsp)
  • optional jalepeno - 1/2 or whole, with or without seeds - this is where the heat comes from - if you like spice, throw it in; not so much, leave it out entirely and it's still delicious
I'm not culinary instructor, but I'm pretty sure you can figure out the rest, but I've taken some pretty pictures, so why don't we look at them.

I like a "dryer" pico texture, so I always remove the seeks to my tomatoes, but this is a matter of taste.  I'm just not a fan of slime.

I dice my tomatoes, onions and jalpeno (when I use it) in my Vidalia Chop Wizard.  It is one of the best kitchen gadgets around, right up there with a cookie scoop and pizza cutter.  Certainly you can get by without one, but after you've tried it, there's no going back!  Nor should there be!

Chop your onion...

...and chop fresh cilantro.  You can't beat the bright flavor that this brings!

Zest and juice one lime.  If you don't have fresh lime, the little squeeze-bottle will work, but definitely add lime flavor, and subsequent acid is contains, somewhere!

And then the garlic and jalapeño.  I would advise using a garlic press or microplane for the garlic.  You're looking for a bright, summery snack, not a way to kill off Dracula.

See how pretty it all is before you mix it all together!?!

I (try to) let mine chill for a bit before serving.  I will fully admit this isn't always possible, in part because I'm hungry and/or lazy, and I have waited until the last minute to make it before friends arrive.

I have yet to have any complainers!


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