Mexican Pickled Carrots

Moving to Dallas, Texas was one of top ten experiences I had up until I was in my twenties. I know, I know, I mention it often on many of my posts, and I have to, because after all, it was a land where I experienced Tex-Mex, great dim sum, Vietnamese pho, and my first banh mi.  In a nutshell, it opened my world to great ethnic comfort food, and some really great long-lasting friends.

Mexican Carrot Salsa Recipe

I lived in East Dallas for the most part of my stay in Texas, and I am glad I did. It was surrounded by diversity, arts, and everything in between. My friend Adam and I lived in an apartment complex for some time, and it was embedded in a fairly large Hispanic district. We were somewhat on the edge of the troubled area of town, but after all, we were probably all troubled at the time, trying to figure out where we belonged in life, and if we were on the right track in our career.

With that said, there was a restaurant that was across the street, and a true Mexican restaurant. I say that only because the wait staff spoke no English, and the menu was something out of this world. I do not recall a salsa on the table, like you would expect in most Americanized-Mexican restaurants (of which I can no longer tolerate), but I do remember a killer carrot, jalapeno, and cauliflower salad served at the table. At first I was hesitant to even try the stuff. I mean, come on, I expect baskets of chips and salsa when I go to a “Mexican” restaurant. So this was a surprise, and a great one at that, so much that I would go there by myself, make attempts at speaking their language (took nine years of Spanish), and loving this small bowl of pickled vegetables.


  • 6 carrots, skin removed, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 6 cloves of garlic, rough chop
  • 4 fresh jalapeno peppers, stem removed, sliced 1/2 thick
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cup of water
  • 7 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp canola oil

Begin by preparing all of your ingredients as this goes fairly quickly. Heat a large skillet on medium, to high heat. Toss in the carrots, jalapenos, garlic, and cauliflower. Stir and cook for about 6 minutes. Add in the salt, pepper, vinegar, and water, and continue to cook, reducing the heat just a bit, for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat, add in the bay leaves, mix, and let cool.

Add everything into a bowl, or Tupperware dish, and let this sit overnight, or up to several weeks. When you are ready to serve, spoon out the mixture, removing the bay leaves, and add as a side. Fork the vegetables and eat them. Add a piece or two to a chip. Mix in your rice. You figure it out, because instead of asking for a second basket of chips, you might ask for a refreshing and delicious bowl of veggies.  The coolness, and the pickling of the vegetables will really surprise folks at the table, and let them know that there is more to be served than the regular chips and salsa.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

7 thoughts to “Mexican Pickled Carrots”

  1. This is a great recipe to serve with nachos – I will be making this!! I love your posts about your time in Dallas! I live in East Dallas by Lakewood County Club (Gaston & Abrams) – your old stomping grounds!

  2. How weird. I just went to the farm market today for jalepenos, carrots & cauliflower, so I can pickle and can them this weekend. My recipe is a little simpler, but I think I’ll add in some garlic.

  3. I grew up in San Diego (CA) where these are staple but now live in Norther Nevada where no one has heard of them. I’ve been looking for a good recipe. I’m glad yours is with fresh Jalapenos, I just bought 2 pounds to make Jalapeno Jelly and I think I can spare 4!

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