Curtido rojo is a pickled cabbage salad popular in Guatemala on enchiladas. There is also curtido blanco with its roots based in El Salvador and a popular topping for pupusas. There are as many variations of curtido as there are papayas in Guatemala. After many years of making curtido rojo, I have finally come up with this easy method. True curtido is more a fermented cabbage salad similar to sauerkraut whereas this version and several others I have seen are more of a pickled version. This version got approval from Carlos without my even prompting him. I made this pickled version and served it and did not let on I had made it differently.
Please do follow the recipe and prepare your vegetables before getting your pickling brine cooking. The brine will heat up fast and if it cools a bit while you finish up the vegetables, you will not get the proper result in the vegetables. The vegetables will not be as tender as if you poured boiling pickling brine over them.
I must admit I have used curtido to top a hot dog. Not very Guatemalan, but oh so tasty! Give it a try.
1. Place cabbage, beets, onion, and green beans in a 2 quart glass bowl.
2. Place vinegar, water, dried oregano, bay leaf, red chili flakes and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Immediately pour it over the cabbage, beet, onion and green mixture and stir well. Cover and let cool on the counter.
3. Once the curtido has cooled you can then store it canning jars for at least a month in the refrigerator.
*Can subsitute a 14.5 ounce can of beets well drained.
**If using frozen green beans for make sure to thaw completely first