Papas en Escabeche

Here's a spicy Mexican spin on potato salad. Unlike American straight-to-the-table potato salads, this one marinates for 2 days in the refrigerator before serving. To gently crush cumin seeds, roll them firmly between your fingers.
Country of Origin
Preparation time

2 lb. small red or yellow potatoes, unpeeled
1 lb. calabacitas or zucchini
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 large yellow or red onion, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 to 5 garlic cloves, crushed whole
1 serrano or jalapeño chile, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 tsp. cumin seed, gently crushed
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
3 to 4 bay leaves
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil


1. Rinse the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Halve squash lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces.

2. Fill half of a large pot with water and add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil high heat.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine onion, garlic, chile, cumin, peppercorns, bay leaves, vinegar, lime or lemon juice, and olive oil. Set the dressing aside.

4. Gently drop the potatoes into the boiling water and cover partially. Simmer until potatoes are tender yet hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Add squash and boil, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain well, reserving 1/3 cup of the cooking water.

5. Transfer the vegetables to the dressing and toss well. Let cool for 5 minutes. Pour in the 1/3 cup of reserved cooking water. Toss again and then transfer the potato salad to a large casserole dish. Seal tightly and refrigerate for 2 or more days before serving.