Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Carrot Pickles

Aren't these carrots gorgeous?

Maybe one day I will grow beautiful carrots like that. But not today.

Sad, no? And that's a lot better than last year's crop.

I have carrot envy! That's why there are six pounds of organic, multi-colored carrots in my fridge right now.

I could make some delicious carrot juice and do a cleanse. Or not! Let me know when there's a cake cleanse, because I could totally get on board with that.

Anyway, it's entirely too hot to roast carrots in July. So today's veggie miracle is refrigerator pickles.

At least my tomatoes turned out pretty.

This recipe is loosely adapted from the one by David Lebowitz. Except his people must be from a part of Eastern Europe where they ate sweet pickles (and probably sweet gefilte fish). If you didn't grow up with sweet pickles (or Galitzianer gefilte fish), then they will always taste wrong to you.

I am a salty lass, and my pickles taste like garlicky seawater. Latvia and Lithuania, for the record.

If you use red carrots, the color will leach out and turn the water bright pink. I think this is a feature, but you may consider it a bug. In that case, use only orange and white carrots.

These pickles taste great after four hours, and they are perfect the next day. After a couple of weeks, they'll be a little sad and limp. But surely you can finish them before then!

Carrot Pickles
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 peppercorns 
2 bay leaves

5-cup glass jar with lid

Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to the boil and blanche the carrots for three minutes. Remove with tongs and stand in jar. Make sure to alternate white and orange carrots around the outside of the jar to make a perfect pattern. (Okay, just kidding.)

In the same pot, or a smaller saucepan, boil remaining ingredients except for bay leaves. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour over the carrots and fill remaining space in jar with more water as needed.

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