The Occasional Recipe Post: Pico de Gallo

The fun part of writing a cookbook is finding out the correct spellings to words you’ve been saying for years. Turns out it’s “de Gallo” and not “de Gailo”- who knew? My guess is all of my inlaws and everyone that took Spanish instead of French in high school or Dutch in college. Well, aren’t you the smarty pants, with your good life decisions and all!

We all probably know what Pico is, but the trick is all about ratios of ingredients. The biggest tip? Make your pico look like the Mexican flag, minus the eagle, snake, and cactus. I mean, alright, I guess that looks more like the Italian flag, but how odd would that be? What I mean by that is you want almost equal parts green, red, and white to make a good pico.*

And the best peppers for this are serrano peppers, though I’ll admit they do have a serious design flaw: they can be brutally hot to mild as bell peppers.  I’ve spent some uncomfortable minutes of my life with my head under a faucet from mistakely taking too big of a test bite- but how else could you possibly determine how much pepper to add, and how finely to mince it? Rub it in your eye? So yes, they are tricky, but I’m also convinced these are the only peppers for the job.


3-4 medium to large tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped
¾ white onion, diced
Juice of 2 limes
Serrano Pepper- from ½ to 2 peppers depending on hotness- seeded and minced (finer for hotter peppers, larger pieces for milder ones)
Fine sea salt or table salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, and adjust amounts if more or less of 1 ingredient needed- remember, the Mexican flag is what you’re looking for. Stir well to distribute minced Serrano peppers. Refrigerate for an hour or two for best results, stirring again right before serving.
*If you are not a fan of cilantro you can change your ratios to reflect the Lebanese flag. You weirdo.

4 thoughts on “The Occasional Recipe Post: Pico de Gallo

    1. I agree it’s odd…I love cilantro, myself, but my mom thinks it tastes like soap and I have an aunt who thinks it tastes like wet dog! Thanks for stopping by, and may I just say- I enjoy your writing immensely!

      1. I know quite a few people who have the soap = cilantro correlation, but I’ve yet to hear “wet dog”, haha! That’s so odd.

        As to the writing, well… Thank you, Lauren. 🙂

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