Elvia's Mexican Pickled Vegetables

Elvia's Mexican Pickled Vegetables

6 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine May/June 2010

These spicy pickled vegetables are like a Mexican version of Italian giardiniera and are delicious with tacos and as a condiment for any sandwich or burger. The recipe makes a large batch but it keeps well in the refrigerator. Packed into glass jars, it makes a nice gift.

Ingredients 16 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 16 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large head cauliflower, broken into small florets
  • 1 pound pearl onions, fresh (peeled; see Tip) or frozen (thawed)
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small habanero or 2 small jalapeño peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place peppercorns, allspice berries, coriander seeds and cloves on an 8-inch-square double layer of cheesecloth. Bring up the sides, making a bundle that encloses the spices, and tie at the top with kitchen string (or put the spices in a stainless-steel tea ball).
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat Add sliced onion and garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, pearl onions, carrots, bell pepper and habanero (or jalapenos). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in vinegar, bay leaves, oregano, salt, cumin seeds and the spice bundle and cook 2 minutes more.
  3. Let cool for 15 minutes before transferring everything to a large nonreactive bowl (see Tip). Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 2 hours. Serve using a slotted spoon to leave behind excess oil.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 1 month (leave the spice bundle in for flavor). The oil will solidify; let come to room temperature before serving.
  • Equipment: Cheesecloth and kitchen string (or a tea ball)
  • Tips: If using fresh pearl onions, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add onions and cook 1 minute to loosen the skins. Drain. When cool enough to handle, trim both ends, leaving enough of the root end to keep the onions whole while cooking. Peel off the skins.
  • A nonreactive bowl or pan—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—is necessary when cooking with acidic foods, such as vinegar, to prevent the food from reacting with it.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup
  • Per serving: 117 calories; 10 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 7 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 32 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2259 IU vitamin A; 30 mg vitamin C; 26 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 167 mg sodium; 213 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (48% daily value), Vitamin A (45% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Reviews 6

February 22, 2015
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Great pickled vegetables with a lot of spicy flavor. I have made these pickled vegetables several times. When I make them, I make a very large batch and can them. I make a pickling salt brine, add a 1/4 teaspoon or so of each spice to the jars along with the garlic. I put a small splash of olive oil in each jar and then pack in the vegetables. I also include wedges of onion. Pour the brine in then seal and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Pros: Much better than store bought, Cons: A little labor intensive but worth the effort.
June 28, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
The flaw is cooking veggies in oil Instead of cooking veggies in oil, parboil them then pour the heated oil over them.
April 10, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
A Good Recipe! Although a bit labor intensive, I do like this recipe. The taste of the final project is unique and delicious! I do agree that it was a bit too oily, and would probably be better with 1/2 the amount. I also found the vinegar flavor a bit too strong, and ended adding a few cups of water to mine as well. Overall a great dish ! Pros: I really enjoy the taste of these vegetables, it is unique and delicious Cons: It was a tad bit oily, and could probably use less oil.
October 09, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Based on earlier comments, I used only 1/2 cup olive oil. The pickled vegetables were absolutely perfect. Will definitely make again.
June 05, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
great but way too oily. i would maybe use a couple tablespoons of olive oil next time.
May 10, 2010
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Great flavor but too oily. It would have been fine with just a couple tablespoons of olive oil.