Homemade pico de gallo made with fresh, homegrown tomatoes is a seasonal guilty pleasure. I spice my pico de gallo up by benching green bell peppers and putting in serrano or jalapeno peppers.
One of my favorite parts of summer in Minnesota is ALL OF THE FRESH TOMATOES. It truly is like Christmas in July.
My 8 ft. x 20 ft. raised garden bed is literally half tomato plants because I can’t get enough of fresh, homegrown tomatoes. And because the ones available in the supermarket just make me sad.
So what do I do with all of these tomatoes? Lots of things! But let’s talk about one of my favorite ways to eat ‘em – in homemade pico de gallo.
What is pico de gallo?
Pico de gallo is a fresh, no-cook salsa made from tomatoes, peppers, onions, lime juice, salt, and (if you insist), cilantro. It’s chunky and refreshing, commonly served with chips as an appetizer or alongside tacos, burritos, or quesadillas.
Since spicy food is my jam, I swap out the traditionally used bell pepper for a hotter pepper. I’ve found that Serrano and jalapeno peppers add just the right amount of heat. I like to slip in some cumin too because its earthy warmth and subtle hints of lemon enhance the flavor.
How do you make spicy pico de gallo?
Aim for a small, uniform dice on your peppers, onions, and tomatoes. This creates a pleasing presentation and ensures you’re getting similar amounts of each ingredient in every scoop. Combine those three ingredients with lime juice, fresh cilantro (or parsley if you’re a cilantro-hater like me), and salt. Stir then let sit for a few hours to allow the flavor to meld together and get awesome.
What kind of tomatoes are used for making pico de gallo?
I advocate using whatever mid-to-large size tomato you’d like – Brandywine, Beefsteak, Better Boys, Roma, and even those fun colored ones, like the yellow and orange varieties. It mixes up the flavor and presentation.
So go find yourself some fresh, juicy tomatoes and get to work making this Spicy Pico de Gallo! Before good tomato season officially comes to an end.
How long does pico de gallo last?
For best results, use within 4 days. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator. It will continue to release moisture as it sits, so you may need to strain before eating.
If you like Spicy Pico de Gallo, you may also enjoy:
Spicy Pico de Gallo
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced (equals bout 3 cups; use any medium to large size tomato you’d like!)
- 1 medium-sized red onion, finely diced
- 2 serrano or jalapeno chilies, finely diced (remove the seeds and pith)
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt, to taste
- Sprinkle the diced tomatoes with a few dashes of salt and put them in a strainer. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes to let the excess moisture drain away from the tomatoes*. Don’t skip this step or you’ll get soupy pico!
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary.
- Refrigerate for an hour minimum before diving in to allow the flavors to meld.