Recipe: Mexican-Style Pickled Vegetables (Escabeche)

Escabeche

Escabeche heavy on the carrots (because I had a lot of carrots)

In better California burrito places you always find a container of escabeche alongside the various salsas. Jalapeños and other vegetables (carrots, onions, maybe some cauliflower) are sweated in a bit of oil then simmered with spices and vinegar. I started with this recipe, which in turn credits Diana Kennedy, but made extensive modifications. Proportions are extremely variable and should be guided by what’s on hand, though you always need a few peppers for the heat. Makes 2 quarts.

Ingredients:
2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch disks
3 large jalapeños, stems removed, cut lengthwise into sixths, pith and some seeds removed
2 large white onions, peeled and cut into rings
1 head of garlic (approximately 12 cloves), peeled
Cauliflower florets (optional)
1/3 olive oil or vegetable oil
2-4 bay leaves
1 t dried oregano
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried oregano
1 T sugar
1 T Kosher salt
2 c cider vinegar
2 c water

Method: Heat the oil to medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add vegetables and sautée gently until onions are just starting to wilt, about 10 minutes. Add spices and liquid and bring to a simmer; turn off heat. Pickles are done when the jalapeños have turned from a bright to a dull green. Serve with Mexican entrées. Lasts several weeks in the refrigerator, or can using your preferred method.

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