January 2020 Recipe of the Month

SoCal Pickled Veggies for Tacos

Our family has spent a lot of time searching out the best taco stands in San Diego on our year long sabbatical. Most of the really good ones have condiment bars that go way above and beyond a few salsas and some wedges of lime. One of my favorite finds on the condiment bar at lots of the taco shops is a spicy pickled onion and carrot topping that adds heat, sweet, sour and zip to everything from carnitas to carne asada or fish tacos. Here is a variation of this great topping. You want a mix of veggies totaling 1.5 pounds.

Servings: 12 Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seed
  • 1.5 cup White Wine Vinegar
  • 1.5 cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Sea Salt
  • generous 1/4 teaspoon Black Peppercorn , crushed
  • 1 cup Onion , sliced
  • 2 Jalapeño , cut in quarters, or hot pepper flakes to taste, optional
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 3/4 pounds Carrot , peeled and sliced on the bias
  • 1 small Salad Turnip , peeled and cut in half, sliced in half moons
  • 1 medium Beauty Heart Radish , peeled and cut in half, sliced in half moons


  1. Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant.
  2. In a non-reactive pot, combine water, vinegar, oregano, salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and stir in onions, garlic, jalapeño and cumin seeds.
  3. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil, and season the water generously with salt. Boil the carrots until crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain the carrots, then stir into the vinegar mixture along with the remaining veggies. Allow the flavors to marry for at least 1 hour before serving. This will keep for a few months in your fridge, or use a hot bath canning method to put up the pickles longer.
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