A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Giulia from Juls’ Kitchen when she was in Rome for the day. Juls knows her food- I am in love with her recipes and food photography. She might not remember, but she promised to teach me how to cook Italian food if I would teach her some Mexican recipes.
Since my gas is still off (for four more days!!), I can’t exactly cook anything right now. But I love salsa, and I had a major fail trying to buy Mexican salsa in Rome, so I decided to make Pico de Gallo.
I was finally able to track down a necessary ingredient:
Cilantro! There is a lot of flat leaf parsley floating around Italian markets, but that won’t do at all. I realized that cilantro is called coriander here. To me, coriander is only the dried seed, but if you want cilantro in Italy, you’ll have to ask for “coriandolo.”
I am terrible at following recipes so I don’t usually attempt to write them. Feel free to play around with the amounts of all the ingredients because these are all approximations.
Pico de Gallo alla Romana:
3 Tomatoes -chopped
1/2C Cilantro – finely diced
2-3 Jalapeños – seeded and diced (fresh would be best, but good luck finding those in Italia!)
1/3 Red onion – diced
1 Small clove of garlic – diced
Juice of 1/4 lime
Chop up everything except the lime! Pico de Gallo is meant to be chunky.
Combine the chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onion, jalapeños, and garlic in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over all the ingredients.
Now, here is the hard part. You have a delicious bowl of salsa in front of you. What you need to do next is cover the bowl and walk away.
Let sit for 1 hour.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Pico de Gallo cannot be rushed. All those flavors need to mingle a little bit. Once you’ve let it sit, serve with warm tortilla chips and don’t be surprised at how quickly it disappears.