Pico de Gallo, a.k.a. how I ate my vegetables growing up. It’s no wonder childhood me put it away either. If pico were an onomatopoeia, it would be POW. It’s the most perfectly salty, zesty, juicy topper for all my favorite savory foods, from tacos to eggs. This particular pico de gallo recipe is my go-to for adding sing-songy brightness to nearly any dish.
Five Ingredient Bliss
Wait- how many?! That’s right. Five.
The easiest of picos uses just tomato, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice. Sprinkle a little salt for seasoning and you’re good to go!
The acidic juices of the ingredients marinate each other and soften what would otherwise be a harsh rawness. When ready, a dollop of pico de gallo will lighten and brighten anything it lands on.
You can absolutely feel free to add other ingredients to this base pico de gallo recipe if you like. Other ideas include garlic, different peppers (such as serrano), tomatillos, avocado chunks, cucumber, or jicama.
If you can believe it, I’ve even been known to add a pat of melted butter to past picos!
There’s little skill required for making pico de gallo. Halfway decent chopping technique should see you through just fine! You’ll get plenty of practice too, which is great if you’re a beginner with knife skills.
You can use whichever size dice you’d like- large for a chunky texture, or small for a nuanced one. It may depend on which dish you’re planning to pico, and how many people you’ll be serving. I enjoy a smaller dice, primarily to release more of those amazing flavor compounds.
To temper the juiciness of the tomatoes, I prefer cutting the circumference of each tomato, focusing on the flesh and skipping the seedy center. The pico de gallo will still be plenty juicy though, as the salt extracts extra liquid, and from the addition of the lime juice as well.
While you can eat it immediately, try letting your pico de gallo hangout for a bit in the fridge. This will allow the flavors to party together- you’ll notice a difference even after ten minutes!
- 8 small to medium sized tomatoes
- 2 jalapeños
- 1 large white onion
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 3 limes juiced
- 1 Tablespoon coarse sea salt or to taste
- Deseed the tomatoes and jalapeños. Finely dice the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro leaves.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least ten minutes prior to serving.