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Zanahorias en Escabeche or Mexican Spicy Pickled Carrots

by Spicie Foodie on August 10, 2010

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Zanahorias en escambeche translates to pickled carrots from Spanish. (Specifically zanahorias is the word for carrots and escabeche is the pickling juice.) The zanahorias are usually served as an accompaniment or condiment to Mexican dishes. Have you noticed when you buy certain brands of canned Jalapenos there are usually a few carrots and onion, well these are the same thing. When we open a new can of Jalapenos and I see the carrots and onions inside I immediately grab those and start munching away, they are just so good. I’ve always liked having these on the table to top weather it be my tacos, testates or well just about any dish that I would use a Jalapeno to top.
The carrots should have a bit of a crunch to them and not be too soft or mushy, but I understand we all have different taste and that is why I am leaving the “crunchiness” level up to you. These of course are spicy pickled carrots, but please feel free to adjust with less or by possibly omitting the chili peppers if you like. Also please notice the chili pepper suggestions in the recipe below, you may use any of the peppers listed or a combination for a different taste.
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Your Ingredients:
3/4 lb. or 340 grams of Carrots
1 large yellow or white onion
2-3 fresh hot peppers ( Jalapenos,Serrano,Dutch red chili)
4 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1 teas. peppercorns
1 teas. oregano
1 teas. salt
2 cups or 500 ml plain vinegar
3 cups or 750 ml of water
1/8 cup or 30 ml of olive oil
Jars and lids, sanitized ( I am using 2 small you may only need 1 large one)
Frying pan
1 Pot -to mix water and vinegar
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* To prepared or sanitize the jars and lids for : You can do this quickly by placing the jars and lids inside a large and deep pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Leave the jars and lids inside the boiling water until the carrots are ready to be poured in. Another way to sanitize the jars by washing them in a dish washer with very hot water temperature.
1. Peel the carrots and slice into 2 inch/ 5 cm pieces either straight across or diagonally. (*Please notice that if you are using small carrots this size will seem to large, so just slice either diagonally or into coins to the size you feel suits your taste*). Peel and chop the onion into 4 parts, peel and slice the garlic cloves into halves. Slice the chili peppers into quarters.
2. In a pot mix the water and vinegar and bring to a soft boil under low medium heat. Let sit covered until it is ready to be used in step #4.
3. In a a large frying pan heat the oil,add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Next add the chili, onion,garlic, and bay leaves then cook for another 10 minutes. Add the salt,oregano and peppercorns and cook for about 3 minutes, stir to combine the spices and vegetables well. Test a piece of carrot to see how crisp or tender it is. The texture is up to you.
You will now need to carefully remove the sanitized jars and lids from the water, being careful not to burn yourself. Use a pair of thongs and or oven mitts to prevent burning. Make sure the jars are empty of any water.
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4. In one of the sanitized jars place enough carrot mixture until it is 3/4 filled, then pour in water vinegar mixture, but not all the way to the rim leave enough room so it doesn’t spill. Seal tightly and set aside until the other jar is filled and ready. Now both the jars need to sit and cool down, make sure they are tightly sealed. Once they are at warm to the touch or at room temperature you can put them in the refrigerator. Let them sit in there at least overnight or longer if you want, the longer the more the flavors will mix. The carrots will keep up to a couple of months in the refrigerator.
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These can be served as a garnish or side with any Mexican meals. Or if you love them like me you will eat them straight out of the jar as a spicy snack, yum!

*UPDATE* (12th August 2010)
This recipe is being feauted on Food News Journal Best of the Blogs. Check it out ↓ and thank you Heather/ GirliChef for letting me know.
Food News Journal; Spicie; Foodie; featured; best; of blogs; Zanahorias en escabeche; Spicy; Mexican; Carrots; pickles

*Thank you Barb for catching the typo*

in Mexican,Vegan/Vegetarian

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Magic of Spice August 10, 2010 at 11:07 PM

These are beautiful…I need to try preserving some time soon :) Lovely photos…

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2 Pacheco Patty August 11, 2010 at 12:02 AM

These are beautiful and inspirational, I would like to make this recipe soon, yummy:-) Gorgeous photographs too!

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3 Trish August 11, 2010 at 5:39 AM

Beautiful photos. They look nice and crunchy, spicy, and delicious. I need to get preserving one of these days. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing.

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4 penny aka jeroxie August 11, 2010 at 6:38 AM

the colours are fantastic! may have to try pickling carrots!

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5 Belinda @zomppa August 11, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Those carrots are beautiful! Great spices.

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6 Joy August 11, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Ohhhh my cousin would love that.

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7 Conor @ Hold the Beef August 11, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Thanks for this, I love pickled vegies! You often get similar ones as a garnish with certain dishes at my local Vietnamese restaurant and I have been known to eat my friends' unwanted ones :)

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8 Torviewtoronto August 11, 2010 at 4:54 PM

delicious pickles

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9 Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron August 11, 2010 at 6:25 PM

I like crunchy carrots! pickled carrots are always good. As you said, they're good by themselves. Beautiful photos Nancy! Those fresh carrots with a head on are beautiful!

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10 Juliana August 11, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Wow, looking at the pictures I just feel like trying this pickles…they sure look yummie and SO tasty…great pictures as well :-)

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11 Stella August 12, 2010 at 1:19 AM

Hey Nancy, these are so nice! I was just thinking I might make some Vietnamese picked carrots and such, but now I might just use your recipe. I mean, I'm sure both kinds are wonderful.
p.s Great photos too. That table the carrots are on is the kind of table I want for photos…

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12 Emily August 12, 2010 at 11:37 AM

I like the idea of adding pickled carrots to tacos. I may try to do my own pickling at home, from what I see, it does not seem to be difficult at all! :)
That said, I'm pretty sure I'll be paranoid about not sanitizing the bottles properly. :P

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13 girlichef August 12, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Oh! These are some of my favorite things, too! When I make jalapeños in escabeche, I always add extra carrots…you're so right…they are perfect for grabbing and munching. Deeeelicious recipe =) p.s….congrats on making Food News Journals “best of the blogs” with this!

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14 Cajun Chef Ryan August 12, 2010 at 1:35 PM

These look amazing with the hot peppers, garlic, and peppercorns! Kicked up flavor I am sure!

Bon appetit!
=:~)

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15 Spicie Foodie August 12, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Thank you all and now you see how easy it is to make yummy pickled carrots.

@Stella, it's a cheap Ikea wood table that I stained with …. I think it was a Mahogany stain. You can do it to, ruff it up a bit to give it a weathered look.

@GiliChef, Thank you for letting me know – that makes me happy:) Look ↑ I posted it too.

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16 JillyAn August 12, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Those are gorgeous! That's one thing I haven't tried making pickles from is carrots. After seeing this, I may though. Beautiful!

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17 Magic of Spice August 12, 2010 at 11:56 PM

OK, I know I already left a comment…but hey, this is an event :) Congratulations I am so excited…These are just fantastic, and I am can so see them featured :) Hugs, Alisha

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18 Evan @swEEts August 13, 2010 at 8:32 PM

I don't think I've ever noticed the carrots in jars of jalapenos?! Im going to be on the look out now.. these sound delicious!

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19 Pegasuslegend August 15, 2010 at 8:33 PM

gorgeous photo's very nicely done~

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20 Sook August 16, 2010 at 4:11 AM

Ooh my husband loves these! Looks so good.

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21 Pegasuslegend August 16, 2010 at 2:28 PM

you are so talented and these pictures are fantastic!

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22 mysimplefood August 16, 2010 at 5:22 PM

This looks absolutely beautiful. really appetizing!!

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23 A Little Yumminess August 17, 2010 at 12:16 AM

This looks good…I am into pickling these days and this is an easy one for someone who is just starting….

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24 Matt Kay August 20, 2010 at 8:44 AM

I keep looking at these. I need to make them. I love anything pickled.

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25 Vanessa January 31, 2011 at 3:30 PM

I've been looking for a pickled carrot recipe – this looks great. Can't wait to try making it!

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26 Jennifer (Delicieux) February 28, 2011 at 6:48 AM

I love pickles but have never had pickled carrots. They look delicious though!

I love your photo of the carrots on the wooden background. Just gorgeous!

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27 foodblogandthedog February 28, 2011 at 9:57 AM

I love this recipe! I'm really into chutneys, jams & curds at the moment. These carrots look like they might be next on my list. I need to buy some more jars!!

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