I have been craving all the briny things lately. Kalamata olives, tapenade, capers even, and pickled everything. Trader Joe’s started carrying spicy quick-pickled vegetables in the refrigerated section, and I’ve been enjoying those with hummus or avocado on toast. Also on salads, or just plain. Did I mention that I’m really into the briny things lately?
These pickled vegetables are modeled after traditional Mexican jalapeños en escabeche, an amazing pickled carrot, onion and jalapeño mix that you might receive with your order at a Mexican restaurant (if you’re lucky). I tried several recipes when I was recipe testing for the cookbook, but couldn’t get them quite right, so I gave up.
Trader Joe’s version inspired me to give them another shot, and I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally figured them out. Funny how it’s easier to think straight when cookbook deadlines aren’t looming. Unlike traditional jalapeños en escabeche, which are often cooked in some oil, I used just vinegar, water and spices. These pickles are fresh and light additions to any sandwich, salad or dish that needs a punch of briny flavor.