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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Oaxacan-Style Vegetables in Chili-Garlic Sauce

Oaxacan-Style Vegetables in Chili-Garlic Sauce

1 hour Plus resting time

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Oaxacan-Style Vegetables in Chili-Garlic Sauce

Free

Some versions of Oaxacan chileajo contain meat, but in chileajo de verduras (also known as chileajo de legumbres), vegetables are the main attraction, along with the earthy, garlicky red chili sauce that coats them (chileajo translates from the Spanish as chili-garlic). Garnet-toned guajillo chilies are mild and fruity; we toast them in a little oil to draw out their rich flavors before softening them in hot water, then we use some of the soaking water when blending the sauce. We especially like the trio of potatoes, cauliflower and green beans, but feel free to substitute your favorites, adjusting for different cooking times. Vegetable chileajo isn’t usually served as a main. But sandwiched in telera rolls to make tortas or spooned onto crisp tostadas and topped with a few—or all—of the optional garnishes (see below), we think it’s wholly satisfying.

4

Servings

Tip

Don’t allow the vegetables to cool before adding them to the chili puree. And after saucing, be sure to allow them to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. The residual heat helps meld and mellow the ingredients in the sauce and, just as importantly, as they cool, the vegetables absorb flavors.

1 hour

Plus resting time

4 large guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
12 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
8 ounces cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
4 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Ingredients
  • 4

    large guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 1
  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 3

    tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 2

    teaspoons fresh oregano

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 12

    ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 8

    ounces cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

  • 4

    ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the chilies and oil; cook, occasionally turning the chilies with tongs, until the oil takes on a reddish hue and the chilies are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Carefully add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand until the chilies are softened, 15 to 20 minutes, occasionally pushing the chilies into the water to submerge them.
  2. 02
    Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chilies to a blender, then add ½ cup of the soaking liquid. Add the garlic, vinegar, oregano, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. 03
    In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt, then add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high, reduce to medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just shy of tender, about 3 minutes; adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer. Add the cauliflower and beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, immediately add to the bowl with the chili puree and toss until well coated.
  4. 04
    Let the vegetables stand for at least 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.
  5. 05
    Optional garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro OR shredded cabbage OR crumbled queso fresco OR thinly sliced onion OR a combination
Tip: Don’t allow the vegetables to cool before adding them to the chili puree. And after saucing, be sure to allow them to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. The residual heat helps meld and mellow the ingredients in the sauce and, just as importantly, as they cool, the vegetables absorb flavors.
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Oaxacan-Style Vegetables in Chili-Garlic Sauce

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

1 hour

Plus resting time

Tip

Don’t allow the vegetables to cool before adding them to the chili puree. And after saucing, be sure to allow them to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. The residual heat helps meld and mellow the ingredients in the sauce and, just as importantly, as they cool, the vegetables absorb flavors.

Ingredients
  • 4

    large guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded

  • 1
  • 3

    medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

  • 3

    tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 2

    teaspoons fresh oregano

  • ¼

    teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 12

    ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 8

    ounces cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets

  • 4

    ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Step 1 of 5

Prepare the Chilies

4
large guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
1
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2
cups water

In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the chilies and oil; cook, occasionally turning the chilies with tongs, until the oil takes on a reddish hue and the chilies are fragrant, about 3 minutes.


Carefully add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand until the chilies are softened, 15 to 20 minutes, occasionally pushing the chilies into the water to submerge them.

Step 2 of 5

Make the Chili Puree

3
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3
tablespoons cider vinegar
2
teaspoons fresh oregano
¼
teaspoon ground cumin
½
teaspoon salt
¼
teaspoon pepper

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chilies to a blender, then add ½ cup of the soaking liquid. Add the garlic, vinegar, oregano, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl.

Step 3 of 5

Cook the Vegetables

12
ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1
tablespoon salt
8
ounces cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
4
ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt, then add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high, reduce to medium and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just shy of tender, about 3 minutes; adjust the heat as needed to maintain a simmer.


Add the cauliflower and beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, immediately add to the bowl with the chili puree and toss until well coated.

Step 4 of 5

Let Stand

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Let the vegetables stand for at least 15 minutes or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.

Step 5 of 5

Optional Garnish

Optional garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro OR shredded cabbage OR crumbled queso fresco OR thinly sliced onion OR a combination

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