(For Tom.)

Pico is always good for sharing with friends

Pico, good for friends!

While I was in seminary, my friend, Tom, used to throw some delicious parties at his home. The much anticipated centerpiece of Tom’s food spread was always Pico de Gallo. Since Tom was often running behind in his party preparations, I typically went over early to help with the last minute details. More times than not, this meant I helped make the Pico. This was a brilliant way to learn the recipe by heart, so thank you, Tom.

fresh and ready to stir

fresh and ready to stir

I try to make at least one batch of Pico per year, and since the tomatoes have finally begun to ripen up around here, I got to make my first Pico just yesterday. My suggestion is to make a large batch to bring to a party, or to work, which is what I usually do, but yesterday I decided to parcel it out in jars as gifts for friends who like spicy foods. We like ours nice and hot, but Tom trained me well… this “recipe” is very adaptable according to personal preference. Every ingredient is “to taste.”  So if you like the fresh taste of summer, I would highly recommend you chop up a batch for yourself.

fresh and ready to EAT

fresh and ready to EAT

Here is the “Recipe”… and remember… eyeball it, adjust as you go… and Eat Well.


* TOMATOES… as many ripe, juicy ones as you’ve got… diced by hand using a nice sharp knife. [I used 1 large and 3 small-med. beefsteaks and 1 medium brandywine. I think colored heirloom tomatoes would make this a gorgeous dish!!]
* ONIONS… any kind you like, as much as you like… diced by hand. [I used 3 small yellow and a bit of leftover chopped red.]
* JALAPENO PEPPERS, minced… the darker the color, and with striations, the hotter the pepper. [I used one large and one small, very hot. Note:the ribs, followed by the seeds, are the hottest part of the pepper, so depending on how hot you like it, you can use as much (or little) of these as you prefer. Be careful cutting. The oils will stay on your skin for awhile. Do not rub your eyes, nose, and lips, and do not let your pets or kids get a lick.]
* GARLIC cloves, minced. [Being that this IS a variable recipe, I managed to forget the garlic at first, and so I ended up adding it only to the remaining two jars. I used one large clove. I think two would have been better.]
* CILANTRO, nicely washed, tough stems removed, chopped. [I used two handfuls of leaves.]
* Fresh LIME, squeezed. [I used one whole lime.]
* SALT. [Be as generous as necessary with your salt. It really enhances the fresh taste of the tomatoes!!]

STIR and EAT with tortilla chips, on tacos, or by the spoonful!!
Of course, the longer you let the Pico sit, the more the flavors meld, but it doesn’t usually last that long at our house.  In case of leftovers, you must refrigerate!!

remember to tell your friends to refrigerate the Pico

remember to tell your friends to refrigerate the Pico

Enjoy the feast!


4 thoughts on “Pico!

  1. One additional ingredient I might suggest is some cabbage. Kyle and I love the Pico at the little mexican restaurant I used to live behind and cabbage is a big component in their recipe. It adds a really nice crunch and absorbs the flavors pretty nicely.

    The restaurant uses white cabbage, but I think white or purple would be equally great in Katy’s/Tom’s recipe. Personally, I think purple would aesthetically enhance the beauty of this recipe. 🙂

    In terms of amounts, I’d say shoot for almost equal amounts to the tomatoes, but just like all the other ingredients, I’d go by look and taste. When chopping, I’d cut it to look more like shredded cabbage than little cubes, but once again, prepare this to your desire.


    • It sounds kind of sketchy to say that you used to live behind a mexican restaurant… like when people live in a van down by the river… 🙂
      Thanks for the pico tips. I’ll try it out!!

  2. Katy did a wonderful presentation of pico. Thank you Katy! One addition, while it is true that proper pico taste best when diced by hand appropriately, when in a jiffy, a food processor can be used. And even a blender makes a very nice smooth pico.

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