What a way to take carrots to another level! First we make them ridiculously tender in a spa-worthy salt scrub, then they get a luscious bath in pickling liquid. It’s the ultimate detox, a stress-melting treatment for today’s urban carrot. I use these pickled carrots diced up in a summer salad. They also make a perfect companion to a plate of cured meats or good cheese.
This basic vegetable pickling liquid is what I use for almost any root vegetable; it can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. I like to keep it around for any last-minute pickling needs.–Seamus Mullen
LC Quasi-Quick Pickles Note
These quasi-quick pickles stack flavor on top of flavor, seeing as they’re first enveloped with salt and herbs and spices, then baked, and then plunged into a pool of tongue-tinglingly tangy spiced vinegar, all in the span of a few minutes of work and a few hours of waiting. If you crave an even quicker pickle, simply blanch the carrots rather than bake them. The result will cause you no remorse.
Pickled Carrots Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes, not including cooling | Makes 1 quart
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely chopped or crumbled guindilla pepper (optional; you can substitute a pinch crushed red pepper flakes)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh dill
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 cups Salt-Baked Carrots (see LC Note above)
- 1. To make the pickling liquid, combine all of the ingredients except the carrots in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. You should have about 3 cups of liquid. (You can cool, cover, and refrigerate the pickling liquid for up to 1 month. Bring it to a boil just before using.)
- 2. If using thickish carrots, cut them on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices; if using slender carrots, cut them into sticks. Place the carrots in a ceramic bowl. Pour the pickling liquid over the carrots. Cover and refrigerate until cool. The carrots can be served right away; however, if you let them soak for at least 45 minutes in the refrigerator they’ll take on more of the characteristics of the pickling spices. [Editor's Note: Some testers found the carrots to be pungent in a particularly perfect way at 45 minutes, while others preferred the carrots after they'd lounged in the liquid overnight and taken on more heat from the peppers and other robustly flavored ingredients. Suit yourself. If you take a nibble and they're a little vinegary for your taste, just add a touch of cold water and soak the carrots a little longer.]
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Pickled Carrots Recipe © 2012 Seamus Mullen. Photo © 2012 Colin Clark. All rights reserved.