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World's Best Pico de Gallo

Updated: Jan 18


Best Pico de Gallo Ever!!

Everything to make this legendary Pico de Gallo can be purchased at Aldi for under $3.50. Pair with your favorite chips for under $6.

There is no better way to celebrate the mid-summer availability of excellent ripe Roma tomatoes than a bowl of fresh, crunchy Pico de Gallo. It is a wonderfully versatile condiment and can be used as a "shortcut" ingredient in queso dip or guacamole. All the items used to make this Pico can be found in the veggie section of your local Aldi supermarket (or, for that matter, at most supermarkets). My Aldi sells a 1-pound bag of Roma tomatoes for an unbelievable $1.30. You can add all the other basics in this recipe to your pantry; it still comes under $3.50.


Roma Tomatoes


This recipe is my most requested dish from family and friends, who report that the versions of Pico de Gallo sold at fast food places are disappointing and flavorless. You, however, need never make mediocre Pico de Gallo again. You will produce excellent-quality Pico de Gallo if you start with good ingredients. Great Pico de Gallo is a balancing act between tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Make sure to use Roma tomatoes for Pico, as they have great texture and low moisture and hold up well for hours or even days.


A word about onions: everyone has an opinion about the correct type of onion for a fresh Pico. Some people swear by red onions, which are good raw. Plain yellow onions are not good raw. Large white onions are suitable for most Southwestern dishes, but they can be a little intense raw in Pico. I love the flavor of green onions, but I miss the wonderful crunchy texture of a sweet onion. My compromise is to use a medium sweet onion for the crunch but add 3-4 finely minced onions for the flavor.


What type of onion to use? More than a single kind!

World's Best Pico de Gallo

Ingredients and Cost (Under $3.50)

  • 1 lb. Roma Tomatoes (6-7 medium tomatoes) ($1.30, Aldi)

  • One medium sweet onion ($0.30, Aldi)

  • 3-4 green onions, white and light green parts only, minced ($0.50, Aldi)

  • 2 Jalapeno peppers ($0.25, Aldi)

  • Juice of 2 limes ($0.50, Aldi)

  • ½ c. Cilantro, coarsely chopped ($0.50)

Directions

  1. The first step to good Pico de Gallo is to ensure that your tomatoes are ripe (but not mushy). If they are not yet mature, set them on your kitchen counter for a few days - they will ripen.

Ripe Roma Tomatoes

2. Slice the tomatoes into halves lengthwise. With a tablespoon, remove the seeds and pulp and discard. Cut the remaining tomato into strips, then 1/4-to-1/3-inch dice, and place in a medium bowl.

Chopped Roma Tomatoes - 1/4 dice

3. Chop the sweet onion into 1/4-to-1/3-inch dice and add to tomatoes. Mince the white and green parts of 3-4 green onions and add to the tomato mixture.


4. Prepare to cut Jalapeno peppers - take some care as these peppers can vary in heat. Give your pepper a test - generally, there is little heat in the pepper itself, and the heat is in the veins to which seeds are attached internally. You should get little heat from the peppers if you carefully slice the dark green portion while avoiding these veins and seeds. If you want more heat, try to mince the internal veins on the peppers.


5. Because no one likes biting down on seeds, and since there is little heat in the seeds, you should be able to remove them and keep the heat from the peppers. Mince your peppers finely and mix into the tomato/onion mixture along with the lime juice. At this point, please give it a taste. Add another pepper or a finely minced serrano pepper if you want more heat.


6. Coarsely chop 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, add it to the mixture, and correct the salt. Taste again for balance between the acid (lime), the sweet (onion), the tangy (tomato), the heat (Jalapeno), and the salty (salt). You have a perfect Pico de Gallo if it's all in balance. It's okay to adjust the seasoning or acidity according to your preference.


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