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Taqueria-Style Pickled Vegetables

Flavorful spicy pickles great to add to your next Taco Tuesday or greens salad!

The trifecta of crunchy vegetables flavored in a spicy brine is the ultimate snack to store in the fridge this coming winter. You can find these at most local taquerias labeled as “carrot & jalapeno” or “escabeche” which means pickle. Use these for a party alongside some marinated olives or on your next cheeseboard. I personally love making these when I want to use up leftover vegetables. Pickling works to avoid waste! Using common staple spices, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make this brine.

I feel like green peppers don’t get utilized enough for the spicy & citrusy flavor they add to recipes. When cooked with your mirepoix, peppers lend sweetness and depth of flavor. I like to keep jalapenos around for their mild spice and cheap cost, but poblano, serrano, and hatch chilis all work here. What kind of green peppers do you like to add to your recipes?

Unlike traditional slow pickling, we cook carrots, cauliflower, and jalapenos in the spice brine to tenderize the vegetables. This method makes for a quick, more ready-to-eat pickle. These are referred to as “refrigerator pickles” because they are meant to be eaten within a couple of weeks. Eat these on taco night or in a big salad. If you want to be fancy, you can chop these vegetables up finely with a knife or food processor, and use this as giardiniera on top of toasted crostini with a spread of goat cheese.

Mexican oregano is not your typical oregano. It has a citrusy flavor that separates itself from traditional Greek/Italian oregano which has a more peppery mint flavor. You can find this oregano labeled “Mexican oregano” and should look fluffy enough to crumble in your fingers. Add it to your spice collection and you’ll be surprised at how much more often you add it to your recipes.

Makes 2 quarts

10m prep time

10m cook time

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. jalapenos, bias cut
  • 10 oz. carrots, peeled and bias cut
  • 10 oz. cauliflower, cut in small florets
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 12 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Directions:
  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, cook carrots and onions for 3 - 4 minutes to lightly soften vegetables.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot and let the mixture come up to a simmer.
  3. Cook until vegetables are al dente or soft enough to your liking. Remove pot from the heat and let the pickles cool to room temp.
  4. Once cooled, store all vegetables in a glass mason jar or plastic container with a lid. Let pickles marinate in the fridge overnight for optimum spice. Keep for up to a month in the fridge.
  5. Enjoy!
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