Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo


2 cups heirloom tomatoes (any kind), diced
½ cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1-2 limes)
Salt to taste
½-1 jalapeno or Thai bird chili, seeded and minced, optional


Simple. Fresh. Goes with (just about) everything. We’re talking about pico de gallo or salsa fresca. This fresh sauce is a perfect way to enjoy the bounty of your garden. It’s simple to make, easily transformed, bold in flavor and the perfect addition to any outdoor BBQ or picnic.

A basic pico de gallo calls for fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Once you have the basics down, the options are endless. Using tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and color will subtly change the favor and greatly change the color palate of your pico de gallo. Adding corn, bell peppers, avocado, jicama, beans, mango, pineapple, cactus or tomatillo will turn a run-of-the-mill pico de gallo into a signature creation with an entirely different spin.

For those that enjoy playing with fire, consider grilling your veggies for a smoky and charred pico de gallo. And if you enjoy fire on your tongue, a finely minced chili pepper will do the trick. The key to getting the perfect amount of spice is finding a chili with the right combination of flavor and heat. Not all chilis are created equal. For instance, a Thai bird chili is about 45 times hotter than a jalapeño, while Anaheim chilis are half as hot as jalapeños. Habaneros are 70 times hotter than a jalapeño, and any dish with chiles is made spicier by keeping the seeds and white ribs.

When you are ready to serve, chips and pico de gallo are a classic combination. Pico de gallo is also a wonderful condiment for grilled fish, chicken and pork, fresh greens from the garden, grilled quesadillas and fried eggs at breakfast.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least half an hour to allow flavors to marry. 

Seattle Tilth
Bethany Fong