11/03/2011 02:20 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

How To Make Fruit And Vegetable Salsa

Chef Iliana de la Vega of The Culinary Institute of America demonstrates how to make a refreshing snack from fruit and vegetable spears coated with lime juice and a bit of salt. This street food item is popular in Mexico, particularly in Mexico City. First, she peels and slices spears of jicama, then places them in a cup with spears of peeled cucumber (leave the seeds intact). She then cuts a peeled mango into spears (steer clear of the pit in the middle of the fruit). Lastly, she cuts strips of fresh pineapple and arranges them in the glass with the other fruits and vegetables. Once arranged, she sprinkles everything with fresh lime juice and salt. If you want a little bit of heat, you can use a mixture of ground dried chile (not chili powder) and salt.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Iliana de la Vega from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: vegetable and fruit pico de gallo.

It may be surprising for you to know that this is a pico de gallo. It is a little bit different than what you're used to, a salsa Mexicana, also called pico de gallo. This is a vegetable and fruit appetizer.

I'm going to begin to slice these items, cut these in smaller pieces. This is a jicama, and I will just need a few slices. It's a street food, so you don't have to make any perfect cuttings here. So I have the jicama here. Then we have a cucumber already peeled. Keep it with seeds and everything, just cut it into spears. This dish is just perfect for the summertime, quite healthy. Now I have a mango, so I'll cut the mango. The mango doesn't have to be ripe. If it's still a little bit green it will be better because it will be more tangy. I will scoop it out from here with a spoon. So here we have a big, beautiful, delicious mango. We cut some slices of mango, and then we have pineapple, so: pineapple slices.

This is beautiful. And now since it's street food, any plastic glasses will do just great for this. I'll arrange them here. Let's do two of each - or more, depending on the fruit you have. We have the mango here, and we have a little bit of cucumber as well. It doesn't have to be perfect. If you have carrots, you can put carrots - anything that is raw will be just fine for this. Let's add more mango, because the mango is perhaps one of the most delicious fruits we have.

And now we will sprinkle with lime juice. This is something you will find in Mexico: in Jalisco, in Mexico City also, in the streets. The kids love it. It doesn't have any fat or anything, it's just refreshing and beautiful.

Now for flavoring this you can use just salt, so let me make one just with salt. For the other one, I just ground together a little bit of dried chile, like a pequin or a de árbol, and salt; I will sprinkle this for more heat, as much heat as you want to take. Here we have this beautiful vegetable pico de gallo.
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