There are variations of escabeches around the world, but their commonality is in the cooking of meat, fish or vegetables in vinegar, most likely as a way of preserving. Rather the dominating proceedings, the Oporto vinegar brings a wine-like refinement, negating the need for extra sweetness and enhancing the natural sugars of the carrots, peppers and onions. It can be eaten warm or at room temp and probably benefits for sitting for 24 hours, when it would be a perfect partner for something like roast pork belly.
100 ml Pepe Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 red peppers. Stalk removed and finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled, cut into 2 and lightly crushed
1/4 tsp fine salt
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
1 pinch saffron strands
4 medium to large carrots, top removed and cut lengthways into quarters
1 tbsp non pareilles capers
15 pitted Nocellara Olives
3 tbsp Oporto Vinegar
Ground black pepper
Sea salt to taste
15 Marcona almonds
Put a wide based pot or frying pan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and when hot, add the onions, peppers, garlic, salt and bay leaves. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and perhaps turning the heat down as they soften to avoid burning, until soft and sweet. Add the rosemary, thyme and saffron and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the carrots, capers, olives, vinegar and a decent amount of black pepper and stir well to combine. Add just enough water to cover everything and then top with a piece of baking paper. Turn the heat up so the liquid simmers and then cook for around 15 – 20 minutes. You want the carrots to be cooked and tender, but not falling apart. If they feel nearly cooked then take them off the heat and allow the remaining warmth to finish them off. Taste for seasoning – it might not need any due to the olives and capers. If the stock tastes a little weak, take off the paper and boil for a few minutes to concentrate it.
When ready to serve, be sure to get a mix of everything on the plate, along with the juices and then top with the almonds.