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Quick Pickles & Chipotle Aïoli

Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

The base of Michael's quick pickle solution is sweeter than most.

The sugar balances the acidity of the vinegar, complements the heat of the jalapeños and enhances natural sweetness of the carrots and onions in the vegetable mix. Aromatic toasted coriander seeds and cloves infuse the pickled vegetables with layers of flavor. Half of the jalapeños are blistered to impart a smoky, roasted flavor, but all of the remaining vegetables – even the delicate cucumbers – stay fresh and crunchy because the pickling liquid has cooled to a warm temperature before it touches them. The sweet and acidic pickling solution is also used to balance the spicy chipotles in the creamy aïoli.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Mix it up. This pickle solution works with a variety of vegetables. Experiment with celery, turnips, cauliflower – or whatever you’ve got tucked away in your produce drawer.
  2. Double duty. If you just can’t get enough of that sweet-pickled flavor, strain some of the liquid and use it as a base for a dressing or vinaigrette.
  3. Make-ahead tip. These quick-pickled vegetables can be made up to a week in advance, as long as they’re kept refrigerated.


This tool is one we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Sauté pan: A standard sauté pan is all you need to blister the jalapeño peppers – this simple step will release their aroma and smooth out their heat.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

  • Medium-sized sauce pot
  • Small sauté pan
  • Knife
  • Mandoline
  • Container with air tight lid or cover
  • Cast iron pan or grill pan
  • Small blender or food processor
  • Cutting board
  • Baking sheet


For the Pickling Liquid: 

  • 2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili flake or  ¼ cup dried chilies
  • 2 tablespoons toasted coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves, whole
  • 1 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt


For the Quick Pickles:

  • 4 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 small red onion, cut into 1/8 inch thick rings or slices
  • 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • 3 small Kirby cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), cut into ¼ inch thick slices


For the Chipotle Aïoli:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cooled pickling liquid (from recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled onions (from recipe above)
  • 2 canned chipotle chili peppers, plus 2 teaspoons of the canning liquid
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt

Serves: 4 (with leftovers)


For the Pickling Liquid: 

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Active time: 15 minutes


For the Quick Pickles:

Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Active time: 30 minutes


For the Chipotle Aïoli:

Total Time: 15 minutes

Active Time:15 minutes



For the Pickling Liquid: 

  1. Place all ingredients into a small in saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, stir to dissolve sugar, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and cover; steep mixture 45 minutes.


For the Quick Pickles:

  1. Heat half the jalapeños in a pan until they blister and lightly color. Remove seeds from both the raw and cooked jalapenos, slice into thin rings, and place in a large sealable plastic container.
  2. Add the onions, carrots and cucumbers to the plastic container.
  3. The pickling liquid should be warm but not boiling hot. If necessary, warm it slightly before pouring it over the vegetables. Cover and let “pickle” for at least 2 hours. Refrigerate and keep for up to a month.


For the Chipotle Aïoli:

  1. Add everything except the grapeseed oil, lime juice and salt to a small blender or food processor. Blend on low until combined.
  2. Continue blending on a low speed while slowly streaming in the grapeseed oil through the two small holes at the top of the lid of the mini food processor. Increase speed and blend until emulsified and smooth. Season with salt and whisk the lime juice. Season with salt and taste. Keep refrigerated for up to a week.



Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Turkey club sandwich with a chipotle aïoli

Make a killer turkey club sandwich by spreading toasted bread with your chipotle aïoli and pile with thinly sliced turkey, bacon, lettuce and your homemade pickles.