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I have a big grocery store not 150′ from where I live and I barely shop there because the food is so expensive. How expensive? As in you have to be kidding expensive. I do give them credit for having a very good selection in addition to the prepared foods such as a salad bar, a deli counter, an olive bar, roasted meats, and a full selection of other prepared foods.

On the other hand I do go “ack”, “gag”, when something like Pico de Gallo is 3 or 4 times the price of a gallon of gasoline. Good grief, the stuff is mostly tomatoes and onions. I am not sure how they keep a straight face pricing this stuff so it is more expensive than road kill when you include the cost of your time, mileage expenses, and the gasoline needed to go run dinner over. This can only add up to one thing: me coping an attitude and figuring out make the stuff myself.

It is so easy to make and almost as much fun as chasing a squirrel in a late 1980’s Buick.


If you are making this for the first time I suggest sticking to these ingredients as they yield reasonably proportioned ingredients:

  • 1 Medium to Large Onion. I like red onions but any onion will do the trick.
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro. I end up using about 3/4 of a bunch.
  • 1 Medium Jalapeno Pepper. Add an extra one or a spicier variety if you like more heat. I suggest that you sneak up on your heat.
  • 1 Large Lime. I often use concentrate as it makes for a very good substitute.
  • Salt


  • Time: 20 minutes or so.
  • Chop the onion up into small chunks.
  • Slice the tomatoes into chunks roughly about the size of the onion.
  • Remove the stems from the cilantro and then chop the bunch into fine pieces.
  • Slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds and pulp if you want to reduce the heat otherwise use the whole pepper minus the stem.
  • Chop the pepper into rather fine pieces.
  • Peel the lime so you don’t have to deal with the rind when squeezing the juice out.


  • Place the onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers in a bowl and mix until the ingredients are evenly distributed. I often use a large shallow plate as the ingredients will sit on top of juices that the finished product yields instead of in them.
  • Add a couple of pinches of salt and mix.
  • Squeeze the lime into the mix. Afterwards mix everything together. The lime is what really pulls the flavors together and it may take a bit of practice to get it perfect. Once you do it is a fairly repeatable process to get it right.


You can serve the finished product immediately but I find if you cover it and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes that the flavors blend better. This also gives you one more chance to adjust your salt and lime. Be sure to mix one more time just before serving.

Pico de Gallo makes a wonderful side salad or dip. Enjoy. With or without the road kill.

Copyright 2012 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved.