As the tomatoes taper off this fall, I’m bidding them a fond farewell with this recipe for fresh salsa or pico de gallo. This is my current favorite homemade red salsa (for my favorite green sauce or salsa verde, go here).
With tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and cilantro straight from the garden, it doesn’t get any fresher than this. We usually devour all the salsa with tortilla chips or maybe we'll save a little for huevos rancheros. But my Venezuelan friend recently turned me on to arepas (fried corn cakes stuffed with cheese), so I gave those a try. I admit I just used the recipe on the back of the bag of corn meal (basically mix 2 cups precooked white corn meal with 3 cups water and 1 tsp. salt). I fried up the patties, split them, and stuffed them with shredded cheddar, which melted almost immediately from the residual heat.
Topped with fresh salsa, these had me smiling all afternoon.
Pico de Gallo
Recipe can be doubled and tripled. Ole!
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, minced
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
Soak the chopped onion in the juice of 1/2 lime for 15 minutes. Fold in the tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust the salt, pepper, and lime if necessary. Dig in with tortilla chips or spoon over arepas.