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Easy Fresh Mexican Salsa Recipe

5 from 1 vote

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An easy recipe for the simplest Mexican-style tomato salsa, inspired by Diana Kennedy.

Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Mexican cooking authority Diana Kennedy was in town and I had the good fortune to meet her and be her student for a few hours during a cooking class in St. Louis.

Diana is well into her advanced 80’s and still as zesty as a pickled jalapeno (there was that time she kicked Rick Bayless out of her car).

But more, she possesses the air of a person who deeply, thoroughly lives her calling.

She’s a missionary, all about preserving and passing on the diverse regional cooking styles of Mexico, with an almost fierce respect for its rich tradition and history.

Partly due to the presence of age and a distinguished British accent, you can’t help feeling an aura of wisdom around her.

Diana Kennedy words of wisdom

It makes you pay attention. I took notes while Diana was talking, and the few things that stuck with me are surprisingly simple and almost Zen-like:

  • Good cooking needs salt
  • Go easy on the garlic
  • And always use white onions in Mexican cooking.
Heirloom tomatoes for tomato salsa recipe

It was good timing, since I recently received a sample box of carefully packed, hefty heirloom tomatoes from Frieda’s, the specialty produce company.

I was skeptical of these tomatoes grown in a climate somewhere where it’s already summer time, but I let them ripen for a few days before slicing into them for this Diana Kennedy-inspired salsa.  

They were absolutely delicious – juicy, sweet and textured as perfectly as if they’d been pulled off the vine in my backyard.

This is the beauty of classic pico de gallo – or salsa fresca – an almost elemental mixture that enlivens everything from plain corn tortilla chips, grilled chicken tacos and our favorite Mexican Street Corn Nachos.

It made me realize once again the beauty in simplicity when it comes to cooking – all it took was a few raw ingredients.

And a little bit of salt…

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Easy Mexican Salsa Recipe (Pico de Gallo)

Easy Fresh Mexican Salsa Recipe

Karen Tedesco
Recipe for the best pico de gallo: Simple Mexican-style fresh tomato salsa, inspired by Diana Kennedy.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 cups


  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, preferably different colors
  • 1 small green chile pepper, such as jalapeno or serrano (my fave and bit hotter), finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (40 g) finely chopped white onion
  • Salt to taste – start with 1/4 teaspoon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) chopped fresh cilantro


  • Slice the tomatoes into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Put tomatoes into a bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and gently stir together, tasting for salt or acidity from the lime juice.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Salsa will keep for 48 hours in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1070IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. Karen – this looks delicious! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Do you know anywhere I can get Heirloom Tomatoes in St. Louis?

    1. Hi Jane – Schnuck’s carries Frieda’s produce. I’d check there and definitely at Whole Foods, I saw them there this morning. Happy Cinco!