Pico de Gallo – literally “the roosters beak” is also known as salsa fresca, which is a non-roasted salsa. And this is a twist on a twist of that.Why a roosters beak?? I have no idea, and frankly, it kinda makes this dip sound disgusting, but heck let’s make it!
The first twist is that this is a salsa verde, ie a “green” salsa. If you’re still not sure what the color green is, here’s an example:
Anyway, salsa verde, is pretty much any green sauce (like chimichurri), and to make this particular green sauce, instead of using tomatoes to make the salsa, I used tomatillos (pronounced – to-ma-tee-yos, for all you non-hispanic folk,…oh and I forgot – pico de gallo is pronounced – pee-ko deh ga-yoe…seeing a trend? that double “ll” thingy is a “y” sound…well kinda, I probably should leave the spanish for those who actually know spanish…dad?). If you’ve never encountered tomatillos, they’re pretty strange. They are these smallish green tomatoes, wrapped in a paper husk.
They’re slightly crunchy, and a little bitter. They’re not really that great eating them on their own, but I saw this recipe for a pico de gallo with them, and I figured I’d give it a try, so I did. So there!
Besides tomatoes, salsa fresca also traditionally has hot peppers in it also. So I decided to go a little crazy and buy three different peppers, an anaheim, a poblano, and a “long spicy” pepper (I forgot the name of the last one, but it was long, and you guessed it, spicy)
Now here’s where the second twist comes in. Instead of just chopping the peppers up, I decided to fire-roast them first, by basically holding them over the flame on my stove, until they char. Now I know, technically this is a salsa fresca, and nothing should’ve been cooked, but it’s my blog, and I can do what I want, when I want…when you have a blog, you can decide what to do, but until then, I’m fire-roasting them!!! Yeesh.
When roasting them – coat them with a little oil, and you can just place them right over the fire, and if you think they’re gonna burn, they’re not. You want them really charred. Like this:
You’re gonna hear some popping, and that’s normal, just keep going.
In my opinion, roasting them does two things. First – anytime you roast something, it brings out a lot of different flavors, but also it allows you to remove that paper layer on the outside of the pepper.
Right after you take them off the fire, put them in a bowl, and tightly cover it with saran wrap. Let that sit for a bit, and I’m a poet, and I didn’t even know it. After about 15 minutes, you should be able to just peel off that layer.
Onto the salsa – Dice the tomatillos, and peppers (if you want, you can seed them, which I did, but personally I think this dish benefits from added heat, so I would suggest not doing that, but if you’re anti capsaicin, go ahead and seed them), mince 2-3 garlic cloves, juice a lime, and add some salt and pepper. Toss them all together, and let them rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge before serving.
Side note – on the site that I found this recipe (Macheesmo), he said that if you find it to be very bitter, and aren’t into that sorta things, you can try mashing up some avocado, and mix this with that, for a different type of guacamole.
Asado Pico de Gallo Verdeadapted from Macheesmo
- 1 pound tomatillos, diced
- Assorted peppers. I used a poblano, anaheim, and some green long and spicy one
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime, juice only
- Salt and pepper
- Dice the tomatillos, and peppers. Mince the garlic. Juice the lime. Salt and pepper to taste, and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.