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!
Dill Pickled Carrots – makes 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.