At the Table

Dill Pickled Carrots

Carrot Pickle RecipeIt’s getting to be that time of year again.  The days are getting hot, the garden is starting to look lively, and all I ever want to eat is a huge salad.  Maybe that last part is a tiny exaggeration (because, also, coffee and cookies), but seriously – is there anything better than cool, snappy vegetables in the middle of an 80-something degree day?   I love salt and vinegar and all kinds of pickled vegetables (except f0r real pickles – go figure), but I especially like the earthy, crunchy flavor of carrot pickles.  In my perfect world, I would keep a jar of cold dill carrot pickles in the fridge for healthy summer snacking.  In the real world, though, Jeth eats half the jar in a sitting and I eat the other half, and somehow there are never enough.  Good thing they’re quick and easy to make.

This recipe is really inexpensive, and takes hardly any time to make.  The brine can heat while you peel carrots, and all the real magic happens overnight in a sealed mason jar.  Some recipes out there call for blanching the carrots before pickling them, so they don’t have such a raw crunch.  I’ve found that if they’re cut thin enough, the heat from the brine “cooks” them to the perfect texture.  I like to make my pickles with a little cider vinegar and dill, but don’t be limited by this recipe.  Pickling brine is super versatile and you could use any herbs, spices, or other add-is that sound good (check out my zucchini pickle recipe for some inspiration, if you want.)  Happy cooking!

Carrot Pickles

 

Dill Pickled Carrotsmakes 1 quart

1 pound (6-8 whole) carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Half of a shallot, sliced thin (or 2 garlic cloves)
1 t. dill weed
1 2/3 c. vinegar (I use half white and half cider vinegar)
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1 T. dill seed
1 T. salt

Pack the carrots and shallot into a 1-quart sealable jar, and sprinkle them with the dill weed.  Heat the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer for just a minute, until the salt and sugar are dissolved – this is your pickling brine.  Remove the brine from the heat and while it’s still hot, pour it into the jar with the carrots and shallot.  Seal the jar to trap the heat; this will cook the carrots ever so slightly so they’re not so hard.  After about 40 minutes, you can remove the lid from the jar to release some of the heat so that it cools down faster (and is ready to eat sooner, which is the real goal).  Let the pickles cool at room temperature or in the fridge.  You can eat them as soon as the brine is cool, but the flavor really develops after a night in the fridge.  Since the brine is vinegar based, the pickled carrots should last in the fridge for quite a while – they’re so good, though, that’s it’s hard to make them last more than a day or two around here.

xo,

Sarah

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