Pico de Gallo with Lemon Zest
Ever since we returned from our gorgeous honeymoon in Mexico, I have been utterly obsessed with attempting to recreate their delicious pico de gallo! If you’ve ever been to Mexico then you know what I’m talking about, I literally put that ish on everrrrrything! Omelets, chips, tacos, steak, fish, took it to the face with a spoon (no seriously I did). Now let me clarify – I have had plenty of pico before in my lifetime, I promise this is not a new concept to me – whether it has been in a Mexican restaurant, purchased store bought or made at home. But there is just something about authentic Mexican pico de gallo that tastes unbelievable! So upon my arrival back home I decided to make it my mission to replicate this delicious salsa.
Most pico de gallo recipes use the same simple ingredients – tomatoes, onion, lime juice, cilantro – but I think the key differences are 1) the amount of each ingredient used and 2) the QUALITY and freshness of each ingredient. I thought using plum tomatoes worked best as they are the meatiest tomato with less juice which is great because who likes watery pico?? A little secret I found is if you throw your chopped tomatoes into a colander and let them sit for about 30 minutes before tossing them with the rest of the ingredients, most of the water drains out which makes your pico crisp and fresh. Skipping this won’t change the recipe, but it does help! I also chose to use a white onion as opposed to red or yellow ones as I prefer the crispness and raw taste of it more, but feel free to make this to your liking!
Another addition I made to this recipe is I added a hint of lemon zest along with the lime juice as well as a pinch of cumin. This may sound really strange, but trust me, everything came together just perfectly!
This is seriously the easiest/quickest thing to throw together and the best part is the flavor gets better the longer everything marinates! The entire recipe yields about two cups so I suggest doubling everything if you’re making this for a large group of people. I recently brought this to the lake for this past weekend for Labor Day and it only lasted about an hour or so on the boat – um so yes it goes fast.
Just a quick note, I used two jalapenos (de-seeded) and honestly this still wasn’t very spicy because the tomatoes really dilute the heat. If you like things spicy then I would chop your jalapenos WITH the seeds, add in a serrano pepper or even a pinch of cayenne. Feel free to get crazy with this! Serve with tortilla chips, crackers or do what I love and top your scrambled eggs or omelet – this tastes great with everything!
- 4 to 5 ripe plum tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, de-seeded and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of one lime
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Pinch of cumin
- Handful cilantro, roughly chopped
- Chop tomatoes and place them in a colander allowing them to drain for about 30 to 45 minutes. In the meantime, combine the rest of your ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add in tomatoes, cover with plastic wrap and allow mixture to marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
- Serve and enjoy!