Perfect Pico

December 20, 2016


Yes, we associate Mexican food with warm summer days, margaritas, and fresh squeezed limes. I may live in Chicago, but truth is I'm a California kid at heart. Salt and sunshine are the ingredients for happiness. 


One of my favorite memories while living in NY was heading to Rockaway Beach Surf Club following surfing for Tacoway fish tacos. My go-to spot for post-salt water hang outs, Surf Club was equipped with killer margaritas, the best tacos, good vibes, and sunshine. The line wrapped through the patio and around the corner, but oh man, it was worth the wait.


But this post isn’t about my favorite salty surf spots (although you really show swing by this spot). It’s about food! Pico de gallo, aka salsa fresca, is one of the staples to a Mexican meal. Yet it’s uses are endless. Chips and salsa? Well, duh. Pulled pork tacos toped with fresh pico? Gimme more. Don’t forget grilled fish with pico, its delicious.


The possibilities with pico are endless. Here’s a simple to make, sure to please, perfect pico de gallo recipe.



8-10 vine or plum tomatoes (I prefer vine tomatoes)

1 large red onion, diced

1 tbsp. minced garlic

40 cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and diced

1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and diced

2 limes, freshly squeezed juice only

2 tsp. salt (Maldon is my favorite – the texture is spot-on)



  1. Chop or dice all ingredients.

  2. Salt tomatoes and set aside for 10 minutes.

  3. Toss onions, garlic, jalapeño and serrano peppers, cilantro and lime juice in bowl. Set aside.

  4. Drain liquid from tomatoes and then add to remaining ingredients. Toss until well-mixed.  Note, you can save the tomato juice for Bloody Mary’s, add it to pasta sauce, or to add to the Pico later if you prefer more juice.

  5. Set Pico de Gallo aside from 2 hours before eating. Pico always taste better once the ingredients have had time to incorporate. I prefer to make Pico the night before eating. You may want to add additional salt, lime or jalepenos depending on preference.   


Extras: More Stuff to Check Out


The New Yorker produced a video, A Surfer's Saturday at Rockaway Beach. 



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