How to Make Pico de Gallo

by Christina Kalinowski

A must at any fiesta, pico de gallo is an easy-to-make condiment consisting of finely diced onions, tomatoes and peppers that is welcome atop tacos and as a chip dip. More solid than soupy salsas, pico de gallo adds flavor and texture to any dish. Inspired by Serious Eats’ Classic Pico de Gallo recipe, this version swaps out spicy chile peppers for green bell pepper and adds cumin to create a milder, earthier version.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized red onion, finely diced
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, to taste
Step 1

Sprinkle the diced tomatoes with a few dashes of salt and arrange in a single layer on paper towels, or put in a strainer. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes to let the excess moisture drain away from the tomatoes.

Step 2

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

Step 3

Store in a storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Variations

If you like it hot, replace the green bell pepper with 1 to 2 finely diced serrano or jalapeno peppers, or add a dash or two of red pepper flakes.

If you don't have fresh cilantro on hand, you can leave it out or substitute dried cilantro, called coriander.

More of a technique than a hard-and-fast recipe, pico de gallo can accommodate your personal taste and creativity. Add cubed fresh mango or pineapple, pomegranate seeds, diced cucumber or jicama, cubes of avocado, chopped black olives or sliced radish to vary your presentation.

About the Author

Christina Kalinowski is a writer from the Twin Cities who began her career in 2011. She contributes food and drink related articles to The Daily Meal. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from Purdue University.