Apology to Tomatoes and Making Pico De Gallo

Not everyone grows up with a taste and appreciation for juicy tomatoes. Up until a few years ago, I treated tomatoes as an invasion to my dinner plate. No matter why they were there, I would flick, pick, and poke tomatoes out of my food. The seeds were just as much of an intruder. I could handle salsa, if I used my tortilla chip to dig around and only come up with juice and a few speckles of peppers.

BLTs? Loved them! But hold the tomato. 

I’m not sure what happened but I think it had to do with Jason being a vegetable lover. (He doesn’t read my blog so he’ll never know I’m admitting he introduced me to something good.) If I recall, I also don’t think I cooked with onions until I met him 11 years ago. I’m sorry, tomato! I was really missing out by not using your juicy flesh in my cooking. You are now welcome to sit on top of my burgers anytime.

Now it’s all peppers, tomatoes, and onions on deck when I make pico de gallo. I know, I know. My hand is touching a tomato. And I still don’t use the seeds.

Once I started liking tomatoes, it seemed like such a pain to cut them up. I was using a chef’s knife. Uh, hello serrated knife! Who knew? Yah, Jason did.

Use kitchen gloves when cutting peppers. If you don’t, your hands and any other body part you touch will feel like a fire pit for an excruciating eight hours.

I’ve never really figured out if there’s a right way to cut cilantro. I just wash it and start chopping/mushing. I don’t use the stems. It’s a texture thing.

You can make pico de gallo with any of your favorite vegetables. Leave out the cilantro if you don’t like it. Jalapeños too spicy for you? Use only bell peppers. Not a fan of onions? Who says you need it in your pico?

What is a food that you like now but you didn’t used to?

Sweet wishes,


Pico De Gallo

Staci at Random Sweets
Your summer vegetable garden in a bowl.Serve with tortilla chips, tacos, enchiladas, walking taco casserole, and on your eggs in the morning.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10


  • tomato
  • green bell pepper
  • jalapeño pepper
  • tiny red pepper
  • red onion
  • cilantro
  • lime
  • salt


  • Wash vegetables.
  • Dice all the vegetables, removing the seeds, and place in a bowl. Use gloves when cutting jalapeño pepper.
  • Chop the cilantro and toss into the bowl.
  • Squeeze the lime juice into the vegetables. Stir in salt to taste.
  • Stir it all up, cover, and place in refrigerator. Serve with chips or any of your favorite Mexican dishes.
Keyword salsa, vegetable garden, vegetables

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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  1. I’m a but of a glutton – I love most things that you can eat. I guess avocados are something I have found I actually like. I tried quacamole with fajitas once at a friends and then changed my opinion of the squishy green vegetable!

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