Pico de Gallo

by Lana Stuart on October 15, 2009 · 20 comments

Pico de Gallo

Well. For a girl who mostly cooks traditional southern farmhouse recipes, this is something of a change, huh? Plus, it’s a recipe you usually think about in the warm weather not when it’s drizzling rain and about 50 degrees out, right? Oh, what the heck. It’s something BeeBop and I just love and I don’t care if there was snow on the ground, I’d still have made it last night.

Pico de Gallo. Just sounds pretty, doesn’t it? In Spanish it actually translates to “beak of the rooster.” Not so attractive after all maybe. I have absolutely no explanation for why it is called “beak of the rooster” except that maybe (and I’m just guessing) it could be kind of “sharp” if you added enough jalapenos to it.

I always make pico de gallo when we have tacos or enchiladas and we use it in place of salsa or taco sauce. Makes for a much fresher tasting taco. Plus it has absolutely no fat in it whatsoever! I can’t make any promises about the tacos or the tortilla chips or the enchiladas, though.

You can alter this recipe for any amount you like and change the proportions as well. Like yours really hot? Just add more jalapenos. Don’t like cilantro? Okay, leave it out and use parsley instead. Although I think you’re really missing out if you don’t use the cilantro! (I’m looking at you, Kay :-) )

This recipe makes what I think is enough for two people. YMMV.

3 ripe Roma tomatoes
½ medium (or 1 small) onion
1 jalapeno pepper
¼ cup cilantro
1 lime
½ tsp salt

pico_tomatoes

Wash the tomatoes well, but do not peel them. Remove most of the seeds. Chop into approximately ¼-inch dice.

pico_onions

Chop the onion finely and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. See that little onion? That’s just the right amount for three good sized plum tomatoes. I knew I’d have a use for that little bity onion that was in the bag with all those others!

pico_jalapeno

Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins, then cut into fine dice. Add into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions. You probably noticed that I’ve put on some disposable latex gloves for handling the jalapeno.  Well, you see, I wear contact lenses and I found out the hard way that handling jalapenos and then removing your contact lenses was not a good idea. I only had to do that one time and I’ve never chopped a hot pepper without gloves since!

pico_mix

Finely chop the cilantro and add it in to the mixture in the bowl. Add the juice of one lime and the salt. Toss all together to blend. Let stand for 30 minutes or more before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or fritos, or use in place of salsa on tacos, or as a garnish for refried beans.

I’m going to tell you the truth. I think this pico de gallo is better than the stuff we get at our local Mexican restaurant. No joke. Ole’ ya’ll.

Enjoy!

Pico de Gallo
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pico de gallo, a traditional accompaniment for many Mexican dishes and a great football game snack!
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe Roma tomatoes
  • ½ medium (or 1 small) onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Wash the tomatoes well, but do not peel them. Remove most of the seeds. Chop into approximately ¼-inch dice. Chop the onion finely and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and veins, then cut into fine dice. Add into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions. Finely chop the cilantro and add it in to the mixture in the bowl.
  2. Add the juice of one lime and the salt. Toss all together to blend. Let stand for at 30 minutes or more before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or fritos, or use in place of salsa on tacos, or as a topping for refried beans.
Notes
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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cajun Chef Ryan October 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Oh….I love me some pico and yours looks great too! Cilantro is so great too, I have grown it in my herb garden three years straight! Nothing like walking out and picking fresh from the garden cilantro.

Cheers,
CCR =:~)

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2 Lana October 15, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Yeah, it’s just not pico without the cilantro, is it? I could eat a whole bowl full of this right now.

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3 rosie May 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

i made this but increased it to a box of tomatoes lol, not just three… kind of winged it after increasing it by so much… but i divided it among three families….dang is it good… i put it on everything and could eat it all lol…

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4 jenn (Bread + Butter) October 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Mmmm…I love me some pico. I’d be happy snack on this the whole day.

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5 Lana October 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Thanks, Jenn. It’s one of our favorites. Also goes great on a grilled chicken breast. Yum.

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6 Cookin' Canuck October 15, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Delicious, easy recipe! I never knew the literal translation for the name – good Trivial Pursuit info!

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7 Lana October 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm

I have been called the queen of trivia once or twice…

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8 Miranda October 15, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Great pics. I make Pico every week. Almost the same, but I add red peppers and garlic.
Great recipe.

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9 Jessie October 16, 2009 at 9:02 am

mmmmm! I love fresh pico de gallo, I would put it on everything!

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10 Jessie October 16, 2009 at 9:08 am

mmmmm! I love fresh pico de gallo, I would put it on everything!
OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

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11 Neena October 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Wow!!! Ya’ll must be breathing FIRE. I love all of your receipes, but I would have to use bell pepper instead of the hot. It looks wonderful and good, just like you make everything .
Much love

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12 Lana October 16, 2009 at 3:37 pm

You know what? I don’t even taste ANY heat in this with just one jalapeno. If it was up to me I’d use two or three, but you know BeeBop doesn’t like the hot stuff very much.

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13 Miss P October 16, 2009 at 3:23 pm

YMMV???

Miss P

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14 Lana October 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Ha! YMMV = “your mileage may vary”

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15 Pat Steer (Gaelen) November 3, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I make one exception to my efforts to eat local and seasonal – I will splurge on those little jewels of grape tomatoes all year long. In the dead of winter, pico de gallo made from those bright little grape tomatoes helps me remember that someday, even the snow will melt and spring *will* get here!

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16 Lana November 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

Pat – thanks for stopping by Never Enough Thyme. Had a peek at your site and am enjoying your jam making exploits. I do jams and jellies every summer along with pickles and some relishes as well. I’ll share some of those recipes here when the season comes around again!

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17 Tracey January 22, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I am severely allergic to the oil in fresh jalapenos. If they’ve been run through the broiler (like on GOOD nachos), I’m okay. So since I do love the kick of the ‘peno, do you know what I could use as a substitute?

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18 Lana January 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm

The heat of all peppers is measured on the Scoville scale. Jalapenos come in around 2,500 to 5,000 scoville units. Here’s a link to the scoville ratings: http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp I would try substituting another similarly rated pepper.

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19 Sheri February 2, 2011 at 2:52 am

Sounds like a great recipe except here in southwest New Mexico we add pressed garlic and avacado—try it you will like it

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20 Lana February 2, 2011 at 8:46 am

Now here if we added avocado that would become guacamole. I like both, though!

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