(Used in this project: Canning Labels in Classic Oldstyle style.)

Mike and I have been friends for a LONG time. We grew up in San Diego together, we moved to the Pacific Northwest together, we’ve played in bands together, we’ve done it all together. So when it’s time for Mike’s birthday, I make sure I get him something one-of-a-kind. This year he wanted to go home, back to San Diego, for a little change of weather. It can get pretty dreary here in Portland and there is no better vacation spot for weather than San Diego. And there’s no better Mexican food either. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it down, so I thought I would bring a little taste of San Diego to him. No real Mexican restaurant is complete without a salsa bar and those spicy pickled carrots. They were always our favorite, so for his birthday I made him enough of those awesome spicy carrots to last him till his next San Diego vacation. And let me tell you they are SO easy!

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Here’s what you need:
• 2 lbs of large carrots, peeled and sliced thick
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 1 1/2 cups of vinegar
• 1 1/2 cups of water
• About 10 bay leaves
• About a tablespoon of whole peppercorns
• About a teaspoon of salt
• About 4 or 5 large jalapenos sliced lengthwise into sticks (If you want them spicier add more!)
• A couple of jars for canning

Step 1: Heat a bit of oil in a pot and saute the garlic, carrots and jalapenos for about 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Add the rest of the ingredients and liquid and bring to a boil.
Step 3: When at a gentle boil, turn down the heat and let them simmer for about another 10 minutes.
Step 4: Let it all cool and transfer the carrots and jalapenos into jars and top off with the cooking liquids.
Step 5: Throw ’em in the fridge and they’ll be good for months!

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These carrots turned out great! Spicy, vinegary – just like those whole-in-the-wall places Mike and I visited at home. He loved them of course, and I made enough for myself to keep around as well!

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James (14 Posts)

James Luster is a recent transplant from Brooklyn, New York. He's an actor, writer, professional donut maker, and lover of the finer things in life. Currently he's educating himself on the arts of brewing and mixology, and working on his new show set to premier next summer.


  1. I can’t wait to try these. Wondering why they need to be refrigerated? Can they be pressure cooked and then placed in the pantry until ready to use?

  2. They absolutely can. I just like my spicy carrots cool and crisp, my personal favorite snack on a hot summers day, but you can totally keep a few extras in the pantry and cool ’em off later!

  3. this recipe siounds yummy and i will try them. i also have a question—–with the vinegar content could they be water bathed instead of pressured to preserve the cranchiness?

  4. I’ve looked at several recipes today, and I like your proportions.
    A recipe is always a “jumping off point” for me.
    I have cauliflower,carrots, onion,radishes ..jalapeno and thai chilis..all from my garden. I’m gonna give em a quick char on the BBQ first, and then brine and water bath can. DON”T add the oil until service…WATER BATH isn’t safe with the oil in it…and pressure canning would turn too mushy in my opinion. I think I’ll toss in some cilantro sprigs too for the flavor, and then just add some fresh at time of service. YUMM

  5. James these are utterly fabulous and twice as easy! But… I did not have close to enough liquid to fill all my jars and cover the carrots and japaleno.

    Recommendations? If I doubled the liquid at the start. would I double all the other ingredients (aside from carrots and maybe peppers) too?

    Is there a safe thing to them off with? Would love advice as I am a total newby to this. Thanks!

  6. This is a must try. Also NW transplants, we love Mexican pickled veg. as served in CA eateries. Could other veg be included with carrots? Recipe for “curtido” given us from a Salvadorena had cabbage in it.

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