Pico de gallo is one of those dishes you make once and know it by heart. Then you make and you make and you make it for people that don't know how because it is so simple and delicious that you simply must share.
I love pico de gallo because it is fresh, bright, crisp and sweet. The texture of the diced tomatoes cannot be beat, it's like eating tiny squares, and that make me happy.
It is equal parts tomato and onion, with a pepper or two (depending on taste), and some cilantro, all diced up as small as you can handle, and then mixed with fresh lime juice, garlic salt and pepper.
The only thing about it is that it is a little time consuming to make. The seeding and dicing of the tomatoes is not as quick as a whirl in the blender, but I promise that it is worth it. It's always worth it in the end when you are chowing down on a bowl of fresher than fresh salsa. Fresh to death.
A few notes about the particulars:
This recipe is best with Roma tomatoes, I have tried others and regretted it. It is also made with raw onion. Some people don't like raw onions. I like to use a sweet Mayan onion for this recipe because they are a milder taste that more people will tolerate eating raw. Red onion is another option, and it looks real pretty. Personally, I love onions, so I would eat pico (as we call it) made with any kind of onion.
Start with your tomatoes. The more times you make this recipe, the better you will get at this part. You want to seed your tomatoes. Start by cutting them into quarters lengthwise. So you have long pieces, not short. Cut all the tomatoes, or as many as you can fit on your cutting board. Get out a bowl to discard the seeds into. Run your finger along the length of the tomato, separating the seed membrane from the flesh, dropping the seeds right into the trash bowl.
I call this process braining them, because the insides of the tomatoes look like what I imagine the inside of a brain would look like. All membrane-y. I realize that this is probably just my far fetched imagination, but I am not a brain surgeon, and I don't ever plan on seeing the inside of any brains, so I let my imagination run wild. Imagining is fun.
Once the seeds are out of all the shells, it's time to dice them all up. Cut length ways for a wedge or two, and then cut across the little bunch. You're aiming for little squares, so try to be consistent with your dicing. Toss into a large mixing bowl.
Then move onto the onion, dice this as small as you can. My mother always said doing all that you can is the best that you can do, so try not to get too hung up on perfection when it comes to this type of thing. Add this to the tomatoes in the bowl.
Now you are rounding the corner towards the finish line, dicing the jalapeño. I prefer to make my Pico mild, so seed the jalapeño and then dice it as small as possible. If you like some more heat, you can leave the seeds in, add more peppers or even cut the jalapeños into bigger chunks. Throw these into the bowl as well.
Rough chop the cilantro and add to the bowl with the tomato, onion and peppers. Stir mixture.
Roll your lime on the counter before cutting to squeeze into the bowl. This releases more juice from the lime. Squeeze the lime over your hand to catch the seeds. Stir to wet everything. Now sprinkle on the garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. Grab a chip and taste the salsa, add more salt if needed.
This can be served right away, but is a little better once everything has had a short time to meld together. Eat with chips, stir into guacamole or top your favorite dish with this delicious pico de gallo!
5 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small/medium sweet Mayan onion, diced small
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced as small as possible
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup cilantro leafs, rough chopped
1 lime, rolled and cut in half, ready to squeeze
fresh ground pepper
Mix the first 4 ingredients together, mix. Squeeze lime, mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, taste and add salt to taste.