For as long as I can remember there has been a jar filled with pickled scotch bonnets on my parents kitchen counter. The fiery vinegar is spooned onto fried fish and fritters, boiled breadfruit and pink potato/breadfruit salad. (Pink potato salad? Just wait…) The liquid cuts through rich food and provides heat in a direct, eye-opening way. There are often carrots and onions thrown into the mix and after a few weeks they are the real stars of the concoction. Spicy, crunchy, sweet and acidic all at once.
These pickled shallots are inspired by that jar of scotch bonnets. The sauce and pickled vegetables are great in sautéed collard greens or broccoli rabe, they are a fantastic topping for sandwiches or tacos and the sauce makes a great vinaigrette.
Spicy Pickled Shallots
2 cups whole shallots, peeled
1 carrot sliced very thin
3 scotch bonnet or habenero peppers*
5 whole allspice berries
2 cups white vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Fill a clean jar with shallots, carrots and chilies. Bring all remaining ingredients to a boil in a medium sauce pan, stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Remove from heat and pour the mixture over the shallots. Seal tightly and refrigerate.
* You can use as many peppers of whatever heat level you would like. Jalapeño, serrano or Thai bird chilies would all be delicious.