Oh how I love to find new foods!
By that, of course, I’m not claiming to discover new foods for the culinary industry or the world. I’m just happy when I try something for the first time and realize that my world has just expanded.
Growing up, if someone said “pass the pickles”, they were referring to pickled cucumbers. The response would likely be, “Dill? Sweet? Bread-and-Butter?” The only other vegetable we pickled was beets. And, really, if you are lucky enough to have a steady supply of all of these home-grown and canned pickles, what else would you need?
About 10 years ago, my farming family discovered pickled asparagus and green beans (mostly because we are also a family who occasionally indulges in a few Bloody Marys). With the usual gusto of those who have big gardens, asparagus and green beans ended up in jars in the cold room too.
A year or two ago, I started hearing my nephews and nieces talk … well, rave is probably a better word … about a small Mexican restaurant in the neighboring town called “La Juanitas”. I was hearing about the carne asada tacos, the sandwiches (torte), the burritos, the line out the front door … and I had to get there. And I did … a few times.
That’s not just the margaritas talking either, because they “don’t have time for margaritas!”
What they do have time for? Pickled carrots on the side.
These are so popular that the first side is complimentary but if you want more, there is a charge. Worth it!
I loved these pickles so much I had to figure out how to make them. Starting with a post on Pinterest, I made a few modifications for personal preferences like heat and texture and, after a few test runs, am thrilled with this recipe. Consider my world expanded … again.
Pickled Mexican Vegetables
- 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 4-6 cloves garlic
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground or crushed black pepper
- 1 teaspoon canning & pickling salt
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seed or ground dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon epazote optional
- 2 cups diagonally sliced carrots 1/8" slices
- 1 1/2 cup radially sliced onion stem to root
- 3/4-1 cup thinly sliced jalapeno
- carrot greens
- Combine vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, salts, mustard seed, Mexican oregano, and epazote and bring to boil.
- Add carrots and simmer until tender.
- Add onion and jalapenos; return to boil.
- Remove from heat, add chopped fresh cilantro and/or carrot greens. Allow to cool.
- Ladle into sterilized jars.
- Store in refrigerator.
- The spiciness of these pickles depends greatly on the jalapenos. If you do not want these to be spicy, remove the seeds and membranes from the inside of the jalapenos before adding to the recipe. This will greatly reduce the heat but still give the flavor and color of the jalapeno.
Now that I think of it … these would make an excellent addition to my next Bloody Mary! 😉