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Pico de Gallo. The Salsa That Isn't.

Who doesn’t love pico de gallo? Oh my goodness!?! If you don’t, I suggest (kindly, of course) you reevaluate your palate and get your eating priorities straight!

Pico is one of those things that you know is simple, there’s no science to making it,  yet can be so complex in the role it plays. You don’t quite get how it works, right? It’s not a fancy salsa. In fact, it’s not even refined or gourmet. It’s just not. But, what it is diminishes all that its lackluster qualities. When you come to appreciate its power, you learn to love it that much more.


For me, pico is that salsa that kicks every other salsa’s ass. In all its basic nature, the 5 ingredients have enough collateral damage that together create an arsenal of flavor and texture. It’ll make any blah taco, burrito, steak, cup of white rice and yes, chips, the tastiest thing you thought had no redemption.

Consider the bite of the garlic, the additional quasi-heat from the raw onion, the juiciness of the tomato, the sweetness and aroma of the cilantro and the lime that makes it all sing! Now you see how it all comes together. All the factors necessary to have a perfect condiment are achieved with this salsita. Ultimately, this staple is the one that can easily and very quickly fix up an otherwise needy dish. Not to mention it’s the freshest thing possible. I do wonder why anyone would buy salsa after experiencing homemade salsa that’s easily adjustable to your palate and meals’ requirements.

It’s the quintessential Latin salsa. Even us Cubans, who don’t have anything to do with its origin, love to make it. I’ve added pico to every dish I listed above and I swear it rocks. So, next time you had some steak that needs a bit doctoring but you don’t have more than 10 minutes to whip up something delicious to pour over, make pico. Got left over rice that you don’t want to waste? Make some pico and mix! Having tacos for dinner? Definitely make some pico!

If you’ve not had the delight of making and enjoying pico de gallo,  as you’re friend, I urge you to consider making pico and adding it to your repertoire of must-makes for any style fete in your home. Everything about it is right! It’ll save you the agony of having to decide which flavor salsa to buy and pair with your other goodies (we all know not every salsa goes with everything). It won’t put a dent in your schedule since it’s superfast to make. Oh, and not to mention you can pronounce everything that’s in it.

Go on and make batches and batches of it. Serve it up.

Because having too much pico is impossible.

(Check out my column in LATINA next Monday for other staples you can make on Superbowl Sunday!)



  • 2 cups cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup white onion, small chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lime
  • salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. Yields 4 cups. *double or triple recipe for more pico!

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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52 thoughts on “Pico de Gallo. The Salsa That Isn't.

  1. pico de gallo .que rico como me gusta por que soy amante de la cebolla y el tomate y eso tiene todos los ingredientes que me gusta .y se ve tan delicioso y como todavia no he cocinado y tengo de todos esos ingredientes me diste una idea chef gracias pero estya noche en mi casa se come pico de gallo gracias simple y delicioso

  2. So Yum an so fresh especially in the summer time..this is also good with some avacado..Yummers Girl 🙂

  3. Rosa: yes, perfect for summer and warm weather, but oh so great for parties where appetizers are served! never gets old to me! 🙂

    Carmen: ay espero que lo hicestes… que facil, super rico y sin grasa or muchas calorias!

    JMoon: he y girile! So nice to see you on here! I know it’s still winter, but pico is good for me year-round… it’s so easy to make and fills me up rather quickly!

  4. The basis of so many great recipes! Love all the fresh flavors, and you’re so right about the aroma of cilantro. It sends me every time. You know I have to add jalapenos to this, right? 🙂 Your site is looking mighty fine these days, Bren. Very nice!

  5. I love pico too. Every thought about added jalapenos to pico de gallo. I think that will give it a nice little kick. Not too much jalopenos though. What do you think? Will that make the “pico purists” mad???

  6. Magic of Spice: it sure is! never, ever gets old! I know it’s summery but it’s so perfect for the super bowl!

    Kellypea: Thanks chica! miss seeing you around these parts! and yes, jalapeño would be so good. I have to be in the mood for heat though!

    Dullah: I’ve made it with more heat but like i said above, i need to be in the mood! 🙂

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