Authentic Taqueria Pickles

Recipe adapted from Kevin Is Cooking. Photo from Cooks Illustrated. 

Recipe adapted from Kevin Is Cooking. Photo from Cooks Illustrated. 

You've seen them at the taqueria, those addictively tangy neon slivers of vegetables speckled with earthly flecks of Mexican oregano, lying in wait beneath a sea of delicious brine. Now you can make them at home! These pickles are a wonderful way to use up extra vegetables that you have lying around, make them last for weeks, and keep them from going to waste. Carrots, onions, and chiles are the classic options but you should use what you have and what you enjoy eating. Cauliflower, radishes, and of course cucumbers all make great addition to your pickles. These tangy veggies are a great topping for your tacos, nachos, and sandwiches, as well as a great side dish, appetizer, and party snack! If you and your friends don't eat them all in one sitting these pickles will last a few weeks in the fridge. 

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs large Imperfect carrots (rainbow or regular carrots work equally well but rainbow carrots are slightly prettier) 
  • 2 large Imperfect jalapeños (feel free to substitute cherry bombs or serranos if you have them but remember that serranos are hotter!) 
  • 1/2 medium Imperfect onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 bay leaves 
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp dried Mexican oregano (feel free to use regular oregano if you cannot find Mexican oregano) 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Preparation

  • Peel and slice the carrots and onion into 1/4 inch thick pieces  Cut the stems off jalapeños and slice into thin coins. Set aside. If you prefer less spicy pickles, remove the seeds from your chiles. Mince the garlic. 
  • In a medium pot, add the garlic, vinegar, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, salt. Bring to a boil and add the carrots and jalapeños. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered.
  • Allow to cool completely and pour the vegetables and cooking liquid into clean, sterile glass containers with lids. 
  • Allow pickles to cool and then cover and move to the fridge. You can start snacking after an hour or two but they will be best if you let them sit for at least a day or two.