I am not a good carrot grower and here is why: I don't like to thin the seedlings. I know. It's the most integral part of big, beautiful carrots. I feel like it's wasting food and so every spring I dream they won't need so much room to grow and the teeny, tiny seedling will yield a full-sized carrots without full-sized space. Needless to say, my carrot crops are never huge but I do enjoy the modest results. The last of my harvest - orange, red and white and wonky all over - became pickles.
A cider vinegar brine brought just to a boil with a bit of honey.
I then poured over blanched wonky carrots with a few whole spices. For this jar I didn't add any heat (a dry pepper or sprinkle of cayenne) since I knew I'd serve them with spicy beans.
Into the fridge to let them work their magic.
I served them Saturday and repeatedly refilled the dish. They were crisply tender, slightly sweet and tart.
My only regret is not thinning the carrots.
1# small carrots, scrubbed and cut into spears if necessary (I didn't peel them)
1 1/2 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. honey, preferably local
3/4 t. mustard seeds
3/4 t. fennel seeds
1 t. black peppercorns
3/4 t. coriander seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 dried, hot chili pepper, your choice (optional)
Bring 1 cup of water, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper to a boil.
Pack a sterilized quart jar with carrots and dry spices. Pour hot brine into jar until carrots are just covered. Cap with a fresh lid and ring.
Allow to come to room temperature on the counter, then refrigerate one to three days before tasting.
2 years ago