I give you my recipe for Pico de Gallo. This a simple, delicious, and nutritious concoction. Enjoy with chips or add to a variety of meals to spice things up.
Step 1: What You'll Need
Spatula or Spoon (for mixing)
Food Processor (optional)
6 Roma Tomatoes
1 Bunch of Cilantro
1/2 Small Red Onion
2 Large Cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice (or juice of 1 lime)
Jalapeño, Serano, and Habanero peppers (quantity varies)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Step 2: Prepare the Tomatoes
I use roma tomatoes because they have a firm meaty flesh. When selecting your tomatoes, look for those that are firm with a deep red color.
Rinse the tomatoes and cut the stem end off.
Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds from the inside.
Dice the tomatoes. If using a food processor, chop the tomatoes with a few quick pulses. There should be no pieces bigger than roughly 1/4 inch, but be careful not to over do it. You don't want the tomatoes to be mushy.
Place the tomatoes in your mixing bowl.
Step 3: Prepare Onions and Garlic
Cut the ends off the onion and garlic cloves and remove the skin.
I've found that adding the lime juice while processing the onions and garlic keeps me from tearing up as bad.
You'll want to dice these pretty finely, but again, use short pulses and be careful not to over process, you don't want this to be a paste.
Move the onion/garlic mixture to your mixing bowl.
Step 4: Prepare the Peppers
Here's where it gets interesting. Spicy is not for everyone, so be cautious with the peppers. If you like spicy food, you might start with one of each kind of pepper without the seeds. If you can't handle spicy food you might want to start with just a couple jalapeños. You can always add more later if you want more heat. Also, leaving the seeds in adds more heat. I like my pico really spicy. In fact, I've only met two other people that could tolerate it the way I like it. I use 6 of each type of pepper with the seeds in. I would not recommend doing this right off the bat. In my first batches I used 2 habaneros and slowly worked my way up until I reached the level that I liked.
When you're selecting your peppers look for fruits that have a waxy luster and firm flesh. I've found that the darker peppers tend to have more heat.
Rinse the peppers and cut off the stem end.
If removing the seeds, cut the peppers in half lengthwise and remove all the seeds and the white matrix from the center.
You'll want to chop the peppers very finely.
Once they're chopped, add them into the mix.
Step 5: Prepare the Cilantro
The cilantro adds a fresh "green" taste to the pico. When selecting cilantro look for a bunch that's a vibrant green. Avoid bunches that are brown or wilted.
Rinse the cilantro and cut the leaves from the stems. I hold the stems with the leaves pointed away from me and run my knife along the stems. After cutting all the leaves off, remove any larger stem pieces before chopping the cilantro.
Bunch the cilantro with your hand and slowly pull your hand away as you chop. Regather the cilantro and repeat this step 2 or 3 times.
If you over chop the cilantro it will bruise and become dark green.
Once you've finished chopping add it to the mix.
Step 6: Add Salt and Mix
Add salt to taste. I use sea salt or kosher salt, approximately 1/4 teaspoon.
After you've added the salt fold it all together until thoroughly mixed.
This recipe yields approximately 4 cups of Pico de Gallo.
I eat it with my favorite tortilla chips, in burritos, with black beans and rice, or in pita bread with my hummus.