I have a simple little Pico de Gallo recipe on my blog already, on my Tastes like Chicken, Chipotle’s Chicken recipe, but I decided this year to give the Pico all the glory and give this marvelous recipe it’s own post.
You know I have a few little tricks to boost up the flavor of your Pico de Gallo, even when good tomatoes are out of season. The tomato, though, is what really makes any Pico shine and if you can’t get at least a halfway decent tomato, you might want to think about using a jarred salsa, instead. All the little tricks in the world won’t make a good Pico out of a lackluster tomato.
But let’s be positive thinkers here~let’s say we have a great tomato! And let’s say we have a great knife to cut them with, coz you’re going to want to keep the slices as uniform as possible. I like to slice, then give the tomato slices a little squish and a rub with my fingers to remove the excess seeds, any unattractive hard parts and I work over a bowl to catch those excess juices.
Then I dice the tomatoes up. If they’re really juicy, I let the tomatoes sit in a strainer for a few minutes. I like to get the watery tomato juice out of the way so there’s more room for bigger flavors, like the lime and garlic. When my Pico is done, I taste and add more salt if needed.
If my Pico still tastes a little lackluster, a pinch or two of sugar and a little drizzle of red wine or apple cider vinegar won’t be detectable but will intensify all those flavors. Try a little, add a pinch and a drizzle, then try again. And let your Pico de Gallo sit out at room temp for up to an hour or so, or as long as you can stand, then refrigerate. You’ll be surprised how the flavor morphs. (By the way, any of that potential tomato waste can go in your morning Green Smoothie! )
Pico de Gallo
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped, seeds and hard bits removed and drained in a strainer for about 10 minutes if really juicy
- ¼ onion, finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños or 2 Serranos, seeds removed, finely minced
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, optional
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt to taste
- optional flavor boosters: a pinch or two of sugar and a drizzle of red wine or apple cider vinegar.
Gently toss tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl; season with salt to taste.
If the salsa is somewhat lackluster, add a pinch or two of sugar and a small drizzle of the vinegar.
Let sit at room temperature for up to an hour (or as long as you can wait) to blend the flavors, then store in the refrigerator.
Of course I’ll be bringing these tacos to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Sue @ Birgerbird. I’ve already seen all kinds of wonderful Mexican & Southwestern food there this week in honor of Cinco de Mayo.