Escabeche (Es-ka-vay-chay) is one of my favorite recipes for many reasons. For years my husband talked about this little old vecina named “Lupita” from back in El Salvador who passed away a long time ago. She was best friends with Suegra and was like a second mother to my husband. Well, it was Lupita who used to make Escabeche for my husband and apparently, Suegra has never been able to replicate it to my husband’s liking.
One day I decided to give it a try and when my husband tasted it he said, “That’s it! This is just like Lupita’s!” (I’ve never seen him so excited about vegetables.) And so, I like to make this because it makes my husband happy, (y Suegra un poquita celosa.)
Escabeche a la Lupita
1 small head of cauliflower – washed and broken into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion – sliced into half rings (I like red onions for the color, but any kind is fine.)
3-4 cups long green beans (fresh or frozen)
3-4 large carrots – washed, peeled and sliced into bite-size circles
2-3 tablespoons fresh garlic (minced)
1 cup water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
a few tablespoons of oil (I use canola)
2 crushed bay leaves
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the carrot and garlic, stir for few minutes.
2. Add the onion, cauliflower and green beans. Stir for a few minutes.
3. Add the cup of water to the pan of vegetables. Also add the crushed bay leaves, oregano, apple cider vinegar, (and sugar if using.)
4. Cover and lower heat. Allow to cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and serve cold the next day. It’s good both ways, (it’s actually better the second day because the vegetables become more “pickled”.)
* Note: If you look “Escabeche” up on the internet, you will find that it refers to a dish of marinated fish. Obviously, this recipe has no fish, and my husband insists that to him, “Escabeche” is a marinated vegetable dish only. The definition may be different depending on country and region.