Pickled Vegetables

(Escabeche)
We came across this crunchy, vinegary salad at Casa del Sol in Juarez, Mexico, where it was served in place of the ubiquitous chips-and-salsa appetizer.

Pickled Vegetables
This Mexican favorite is a crunchy, vinegary salad of mixed vegetables.
Yield: serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 34 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 8 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
  • 4 fresh jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1 12 white vinegar
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally
  • 1 1-lb. jicama, peeled and cut into 3⁄4" dice

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add garlic and onions and saute 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Lower heat to medium and add carrots, peppercorns, thyme, oregano, marjoram, and bay leaves. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Add cauliflower, jalapeños, vinegar, and 1 cup water. Stir well, cover, and continue to cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini and jicama. Cover and cook an additional 5 minutes. Vegetables should remain crunchy, so do not overcook.
  5. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight. Serve at room temperature. Store in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.