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The Best Fresh Salsa Recipe – Our Favorite Pico de Gallo Recipe

Every year, when our garden tomatoes begin to ripen, one of the first things that I make is this Pico de Gallo recipe.

Fresh salsa that is made in minutes by combining diced tomatoes with onions and jalapeno peppers. Throw in a little garlic, cilantro and lime juice and you have the perfect, easy to make salsa.

This recipe is a staple in our house throughout the summer. We typically have it as an appetizer or snack with tortilla chips.

However, don’t limit yourself.  It goes great on top of grilled chicken, fish, or even mixed in with fresh corn for an easy side dish.  The possibilities are endless.

pico de gallo
Fresh Pico de Gallo made from garden fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cilantro.

Pico de Gallo Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

Ingredients

Onion – You can use whatever type of onion that you prefer. However, I prefer to use red onion in this Pico de Gallo recipe. Not only does it add more flavor than sweet or yellow onions. It also adds a nice splash of color to the salsa as well.

Garlic clove – Fresh garlic is always best. Although in a pinch minced garlic from a jar will work

Lime – You will need the juice of one whole lime. If you don’t have a lime you could use bottled lime juice as a substitute.

Salt – Fine sea salt is the preferred choice when making fresh salsa. Not only are the crystals smaller than Kosher salt, they are less processed than other salt varieties.

Jalapeño peppers – Yes, jalapeno peppers can be hot. However, if you remove the seeds and ribs, the heat level decreases dramatically. For those that love the heat, be sure to leave them when when dicing the peppers.

jalapeno peppers
The heat from the peppers come from the seeds and membranes. Remove them if you want a mild Pico de Gallo salsa.

Plum tomatoes – It is best to use Roma, San Marzano or a similar variety of tomato. Plum tomatoes have thick walls and a small seed core. If you use standard slicing tomatoes there will be more liquid in the bowl than if you use plum tomatoes.

Cilantro – A classic ingredient in salsa. Lucky for us the cilantro is in full production when our tomatoes begin to ripen. However, if you purchase a bunch of cilantro from the store be sure to store it in a glass of water in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life.

Instructions

The first step in this recipe is to finely chop the onion and place it in a small bowl. Then mince the garlic using a micro plane, knife or garlic press and place it into the bowl with the onions.

Next, cut the lime in half and juice it. A standard size lime will produce approximately 2 tablespoons of juice. Although I love my manual citrus press, you can also use long tongs to squeeze the juice out of the lime.

red onions
Although you can use any type of onion, I prefer to use red onion for this recipe.

Once you have the juice extracted add it to the onion and garlic mixture. Set the bowl aside while you chop the other ingredients for the Pico de Gallo to allow the onion and garlic to marinate in lime juice.

Adjust The Heat Level

Begin by slicing the jalapeno pepper in half lengthwise.  If you like it hot, dice it with seeds and membranes intact.

However, if you would like it a little milder, remove the seeds and membrane from one or both halves, and then dice. Then add it to the onion and garlic mixture and toss.

Next, cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seed core. Then dice them into small chunks and add them to the bowl. 

plum tomatoes
It is best to use plum tomatoes as they have a thick walls and a smaller seed core.

Now roughly chop the cilantro and mix it in with the other ingredients.  Stir gently to combine.

Give the mixture a taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.

It is best if you cover and let the Pico de Gallo rest for a few hours in the fridge before eating to allow the flavors to meld together. Although if you can’t resist, it will still taste amazing!

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

fresh pico de gallo
Our favorite way to enjoy Pico de Gallo is with tortilla chips. However it also makes for a great topping to chicken and fish and when mixed with corn it becomes a delicious side dish recipe!

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Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion about 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 4 to 6 plum tomatoes 2 cups medium-diced tomatoes
  • A bunch of cilantro 1/4 cup chopped

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the onion and place it in a small bowl. Mince the garlic using a micro plane, knife or garlic press and place it into the bowl.
  2. Cut the lime in half and juice it (approximately 2 tablespoons). Add the lime juice and salt to the garlic and onions mixture and stir. Set aside while chopping the other ingredients to allow the onion and garlic to marinate in lime juice.
  3. Slice the jalapeno pepper in half lengthwise. If you like it hot, dice it with seeds and membranes intact. If you would like it a little milder, remove the seeds and membrane from one or both halves, and then dice. Add to the onion and garlic mixture.
  4. Dice the tomatoes into medium chunks and add to the bowl. Roughly chop the cilantro and add to the bowl. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Adjust seasonings to your taste.

Recipe Notes

It is best if you cover and let rest for a few hours in the fridge to blend the flavors.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms