WHAT IS PICO DE GALLO?
It’s a simple combination of five main ingredients to create a classic Mexican dip which adds a fresh and healthy flavor to just about any Mexican meal. In fact, pico de gallo, in my opinion, is better than salsa despite its simplistic ingredients.
When I went to Mexico with my sister and dad as a teenager, I mistakenly thought pico de gallo was Mexico’s version of salsa. At the time, i didn’t realize, in fact, it was a completely different sauce. Even though I preferred pico de gallo back then, I realized it was the simplistic ingredients that contributed to the fresh taste I craved.
Not only is pico de gallo fabulous on any Mexican food, but it also works well as a topping for Skinny Southwestern Tofu Scramble. Whenever I want a fresh, tomato flavor on anything, including my Crockpot Three-Bean Mega Veggie Chili , I make pico de gallo.
5 INGREDIENT EASY
First, the type of tomatoes you choose makes or breaks the pico de gallo. For instance, I prefer Roma tomatoes, because they are firmer and contain fewer seeds. Moreover, Roma tomatoes produce less juice, which is beneficial when making pico de gallo. As a matter of fact, you only need five base ingredients: ripe Roma tomatoes, white onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime. That’s it!
Additionally, you will need a few simple seasonings from the pantry to add a little zest: sea salt, cayenne, and garlic powder.
WHEN TO USE PICO DE GALLO VS. SALSA?
In contrast to salsa, pico de gallo contains all fresh ingredients, whereas salsa traditionally contains stewed or roasted tomatoes. So, pico de gallo is chunkier and less wet. As a result, salsa is wonderful for dipping chips. On the other hand, I prefer pico de gallo for tacos, because it is less wet and doesn’t make the corn tortilla soggy.
In the same fashion, I prefer dipping my nachos, one at a time, in salsa. Even though pico de gallo and salsa are both equally delicious, I sometimes use both on dishes like Green Plant-Based Potato and Kale Enchiladas.
TIPS FOR PICO DE GALLO SUCCESS
ALWAYS USE RIPE ROMA TOMATOES
In the event Roma tomatoes are not in season, opt for salsa or store made pico. Since ripe tomatoes are an essential component to fresh pico de gallo, they are the necessary ingredient that makes or breaks your pico de gallo success. With this in mind, choose the brightest red Roma tomatoes you can find. Whatever you do, don’t pick light red or orangish colored tomatoes.
Regardless of the chopping mechanism you have, tomatoes need to be hand cut. But, it is important you dice everything the same size; SMALL. Comparatively, I use my favorite vegetable chopper to chop my onion and jalapeño exactly the same size using my small chopping blade. However, don’t forget to remove the seeds from the jalapeño prior to chopping. Furthermore, it is recommended you wear gloves to avoid getting pepper burns.
THE FLAVOR ENHANCES OVER TIME, SO LET THE PICO DE GALLO MARINATE
As much as I want to eat it the minute I make it, letting the pico de gallo marinate in the refrigerator helps to develop its flavors. Likewise, meal prep is vital! Because pico de gallo lasts 7 days in the refrigerator, if you can leave it overnight, the enhanced flavors are worth the wait.