Escabeche (pickled jalepenos)

photo (13)I am hoping that this next recipe will make its way into your hearts and homes as a pantry staple.  It has reserved shelf space in ours.  It has been so nice to save our veggies throughout the winter by canning.  Wisconsin winters tend to be long, and there really is nothing quite like a summer tomato sauce in the brisk cold of February.  But for now we are not going to dive into pressure canning.  We are going to take a slight short cut and talk pickling!

This recipe is something Erik and I have made the last two summers, and it never fails to bring out the spice fanatic in our guests!  A slight warning: This is for those that can handle the spice.  And I mean really handle!  Lets talk Escabeche.

Escabeche simply means “pickled jalapenos.”   Once the peppers are ripe for the pickling, we like to take it one step further and add other fresh garden veggies that we can harvest around the same time such as yellow onions, cauliflower & carrots.  I’ve seen this prepared with julienned potatoes and even jicama before, but I haven’t ventured there….yet.

Escabeche (pickled jalepenos)


  • 1 lb jalapeño peppers
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 medium white or yellow onions, thickly sliced
  • 2-3 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • Florets from half a small cauliflower
  • 1 head garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 sprigs of fresh marjoram or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 Tbsp sugar


  1. Wash the chilies, leaving the stems intact. Cut a cross in the tip end of each chile, and slice some in half. I like the looks of the open chili.
  2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the chiles, onions, carrots, cauliflower if using, and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Add the vinegar, salt, herbs, and sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10.
  4. Pack into sterilized jars with the chiles and vegetables. I also like to make sure I have a sprig or bay leaf in every jar for decoration purpose. Top with the vinegar and seal.
  5. I like to let the jars sit on my pantry shelf for at least a month or two... I know what you're thinking. Ugh- the wait! But the best things are worth waiting for! Once you open the jar, it can keep for up to two months in the refrigerator.
  6. *On a side note, you may want to hot water bath the jars to give them a proper seal. I have never done this with some pickle recipes, but don't listen to me! Be safe, and do what feels right!



Escabeche, served as a side

Escabeche can be served along side any dish, best with Latin-influenced food.  Last night I made an amazing Autumnal Pozole.  I like to describe pozole as the Latin version of Pho. It is usually made with hominy, which was a sacred plant for the Aztecs.  The texture of maize, or hominy, is soft and chewy, and so wonderful in soups and stews.

afterlight (1)

Autumn Red Pozole

This pozole had butternut squash, black beans, tomatoes, and onion.  The real getter is how all the fresh veggies come into play.  Again, much like Pho, you can assemble it any way you’d like.  We ladled the stew over a warm piece of savory cornbread, then chose to top it off with fresh cabbage, cilantro, radish, lime juice, homemade tortillas strips, and a dollop of jalepeno relish Erik made.  It turned out amazing.

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