If you’re comfortable and efficient with a knife, the flavors of Mexico’s quintessential, eponymous salsa (often called pico de gallo on our side of the border) can be on your table at a moment’s notice. But not everyone is a knife wizard, so I devised this version, which utilizes the food processor for the garlic, green chile, cilantro and half the tomatoes. Meaning, that a very good fresh tomato salsa is within everyone’s easy reach. Green onions are the easies to cut (they are the only onion my daughter likes to chop), but feel free to use white or red onion if that’s what’s available or appealing. At our restaurants, we only make this salsa when our ripe local tomatoes are in season.
Makes 2 cups
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- Fresh hot green chiles to taste (I like 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño), stemmed and halved
- 2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) round red, ripe tomatoes
- 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 large green onion, roots and wilted outer leaves removed, chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or vinegar)
- Drop the garlic and chile pieces one at a time into a running food processor, letting each get finely chopped before adding the next. Turn off the processor and remove the lid. Cut one tomato in quarters and add it to food processor, along with the cilantro. Pulse 4 to 6 times until you have a coarse puree. Scrape the mixture into a bowl.
- Cut the other tomato into ¼-inch pieces and add to the bowl along with the green onion. Taste and season with lime juice (or vinegar) and salt, usually a generous ½ teaspoon. This salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.