Quick Pickled Carrots – One Post, Two Recipes

Quick Pickled Carrots – One Post, Two Recipes

As promised during my veggie burger post, I’ve written up my latest obsession for you: Quick Pickled Carrots. They are indeed quick to pickle, but the flavors meld even more beautifully if they’re left about 3-4 days in the fridge before eating them… If you’re able to wait that long.

The first recipe is a fairly standard pickling spice mix, with some ground turmeric thrown in for its anti-inflammatory properties. These carrots are delightful atop veggie burgers, salads, or for adding that raw touch to your favorite stir-fry recipe.

Not quite sure how my pickling spices ended up in the shape of South America. It happens, I suppose.

Not quite sure how my spices ended up in the shape of South America. It happens, I suppose.

The second recipe pickles a bit on the wild side – I added fennel. Long used as a digestive aid, fennel seeds have a slightly sweet, fresh, anise-like flavor and aroma. The flavor in this pickling recipe isn’t overpowering, but it’s enough to make you tilt your head to one side and appreciate the fun combination. These carrots pair wonderfully with any recipe that is looking for a delicate bite of freshness. Rice and beans, roasted root vegetables or spring pasta dishes all make a great excuse to eat more of these wild pickles.

Pickling spices up close.

Spices up close. And my scratched up cutting board.

Spicy Quick Pickled Carrots

Ingredients

1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
3/4 c water
1 c distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 lb carrots, peeled and shredded, with a mandolin or grater
1/4 small red onion, finely diced

Directions

1. In a small pan over low heat, toast the coriander and mustard seeds until just fragrant. Don’t burn them. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

2. In a medium pot, combine water, salt, sugar, bay leaf, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer while stirring frequently until sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Turn off heat and allow to come to room temperature. Mix in turmeric until dissolved.

3. Place carrots and red onion slices in a clean, glass jar. When the pickling liquid has completely cooled, pour over the carrots, seal jar and place in fridge. If you’re in a pinch for time, you can pour the hot liquid over the carrots, but they won’t retain their crispy texture as well. Store the carrots in a jar in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

More pickles. Nom nom nom.

More pickles. Nom nom nom.

Fennel Quick Pickled Carrots

Ingredients

1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
3/4 c water
1 c distilled white vinegar
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 lb carrots, peeled and shredded, with a mandolin or grater
1/4 small red onion, finely diced

Directions

1. In a small pan over low heat, toast the coriander and fennel seeds until just fragrant. Don’t burn them. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

2. In a medium pot, combine water, salt, sugar, bay leaf, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer while stirring frequently until sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Turn off heat and allow to come to room temperature.

3. Place carrots and red onion slices in a clean, glass jar. When the pickling liquid has completely cooled, pour over the carrots, seal jar and place in fridge. If you’re in a pinch for time, you can pour the hot liquid over the carrots, but they won’t retain their crispy texture as well. Store the carrots in a jar in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.

A very tall jar of deliciousness.

A very tall jar of deliciousness.

There’s a third and bonus recipe hidden in this post – the pickling brine itself. See, when you’re done eating all the carrots, you’ll be left with this delicious vinegary liquid in a jar. It’s all pre-seasoned for you and everything. Well, more accurately – YOU pre-seasoned it! So what do you do with it? First, you can always re-use it. Just add more shredded carrots. They’ll still pickle. Or splash some of it onto whatever you’re sauteing at the moment. Add some to your mashed potatoes. Use it in place of vinegar in a recipe. Still looking for ideas? Check out this article from Bon Appetit Magazine.

Soundtrack: Only the Horses by Scissor Sisters

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