Pico de Gallo is the perfect topping for any Mexican dish because of its fresh, vibrant acidity. Add it to burritos, tacos, even refried beans.
Sometimes a dish just needs an extra bit of acidity and crunch. Spoon a bunch of this pico de gallo on any Mexican dish and the freshness factor gets a huge boost. The fresh tomatoes, zesty onions, and aromatic cilantro add tons of flavor and texture.
If you have a garden, your summers will be filled with fresh pico de gallo and before long, you’ll be putting it on everything.
Wondering what the difference is between pico de gallo and salsa? It’s a common mistake to think they’re the same. The main difference is that salsa is more “saucy” than pico de gallo, which uses only freshly chopped vegetables.
Don’t get me wrong, salsa is also made with fresh vegetables, but it has a wetter, saucier consistency and is typically blended more.
Pico de Gallo can be made two ways – with finely chopped vegetables or with larger, coarsely chopped vegetables. But it will never be pureed and it will never use stewed, or cooked tomatoes.
How to Make Pico de Gallo
There’s nothing difficult about this recipe. It’s probably the easiest condiment to make. All you need is tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime and jalapenos – plus a healthy pinch of salt to brighten it all up.
As I already mentioned, you can chop the vegetables to any size you prefer. I like a chunkier pico de gallo. Some people like it really fine. It might also depend on what you’re using it for. If you’re going to be scooping it up on tortilla chips, then finer is probably better. Try these homemade blue corn tortillas to make homemade tortilla chips.
If you’re using jalapenos, you can adjust the heat in the pico de gallo by removing the ribs and seeds. I like to remove the seeds, but leave the ribs in for a bit of heat with out the punch of biting into a seed. (For extra kicks, I love this video from Epicurious – where 50 people try to deseed a jalapeno!)
All you need to do is chop up all the vegetables, put them in a bowl, mix them up really well, and let it all sit to meld together for about 15 minutes. This condiment is best served cold and it doesn’t stay fresh for long – maybe a day or two in the fridge, covered.
For fun, you can even serve it in this cute salsa bowl that I absolutely love.
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Classic Pico de Gallo
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
- 1 medium jalapeño finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed)
- 1 lime juiced
- Salt to taste
- Chop the vegetables, either finely or coarsely, depending on your preference.
- Add the vegetables to a bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the lime juice and salt to taste.
- Allow the pico de gallo to sit (preferrably refrigerated) for 15 minutes for the flavors to meld.
- Serve with tortilla chips or on top of any foods you prefer.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.