Classic Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a crazy tasty yet super simple Mexican salsa made from chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, fresh jalapeños, salt, and lime juice. Serve it with tortillas or sprinkle liberally on all your favorite foods!
Tomatoes are in season and can be had for a handful of change… or maybe they’ve even totally invaded your kitchen if you happen to be growing your own!
If that’s your case, then you’re probably looking for ways to use them up! Personally, I can’t think of a better way than by making Pico de Gallo…
Indeed, not only is Pico de Gallo extremely easy to make, it’s also super delicious, crazy healthy and can be used in countless different ways.
This tasty Mexican salsa makes for an excellent dipping sauce and is of course at its best served with tortilla chips, but it also goes fantastic with practically everything and anything Mexican, i.e. tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, beans and rice casseroles, and even eggs!
Hey, it even makes for a great little side dish with a kick, me says…
A few tips before you start…
For optimal flavor, be sure to use ripe red tomatoes — nothing will ruin your pico faster than a tasteless unripe tomato — and to chop your ingredients very finely; this will allow for better flavor transfer and will make your salsa easier to eat, too!
Also, let your pico rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This step will allow all the flavors to mingle and make friends and show their best side! As the ingredients take a little rest, the salt will draw all the moisture out of the ingredients, which totally concentrates their flavor.
Seed your tomatoes! Ripe tomatoes might be loaded with flavor, but they also will release A LOT of water. So be sure to core them and remove the seeds before chopping them and adding them to the salsa!
Even so, despite all your best efforts, you will still get a fair amount of liquid at the bottom of your bowl. Be sure to leave it all behind by serving your pico de gallo with the help of a slotted spoon.
Start by (very finely, don’t forget!) chopping your onion, jalapeño peppers and cilantro and then throw them in a bowl along with the lime juice and salt.
Give that a good stir and set aside to marinate while you get working on the tomatoes.
Like I said earlier, it’s very important that you seed your tomatoes, because if you don’t, they’ll end up releasing WAY too much liquid in your salsa. See all that juice in the cup right there? Trust me, you don’t want to be adding all that to your pico…
I find the easiest way to do that is to cut your tomatoes into quarters and then simply push the seeds and innards out with your thumbs.
Or, if you prefer not to get your hands dirty, you could also use a spoon…
If you want to eliminate even more water from the tomatoes before you add them to your pico, place them in a fine mesh colander set over a bowl as you chop them, so they have a chance to drain a little.
This step is entirely optional, but since it doesn’t require much time or effort on your part, I say it’s totally worth doing…
Once all the tomatoes have been (very super finely, remember?) diced, place them in the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients…
Now give the whole thing a very delicate stir, until all the ingredients are well combined.
Lastly, place your Pico de Gallo in the fridge to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to several hours, to allow all those beautiful flavors to fully develop.
When ready to serve, transfer your pico to a serving bowl with the help of a slotted spoon, to leave all that excess liquid behind. Cuz yeah, despite all our best efforts, there will still be some of that. Sorry, there’s no avoiding it!
Pico de gallo is best enjoyed fresh, but it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a few days…
Classic Pico de Gallo
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion, (about 1 small onion)
- 1-3 medium jalapeño peppers, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped (use more or less to suit your tolerance to heat)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, (about 1 bunch)
- 1/4 cup lime juice, (from about 2 limes)
- 1 tsp salt, (I use Himalayan salt)
- 4 cups seeded and finely diced red tomatoes, (about 5-6 medium-large)
- Combine the chopped onion, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, lime juice and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Set that aside to marinate while you seed and dice the tomatoes.
- Once all the tomatoes have been diced, place in the bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir delicately until well combined.
- Place your pico de gallo in the fridge to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to several hours to allow flavors to fully develop.
- Transfer to serving bowl with the help of a slotted spoon to leave excess liquid behind.
- Pico de gallo is best eaten fresh but will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a few days.