Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spicy Pickled Carrots for the Pickle Party

Last month Shauna Ahern, the Gluten Free Girl, hosted a virtual pie party and it was a such a success that today she is hosting is a virtual pickle party.  I actually didn't know about it until yesterday, but luckily had these delicious looking carrot pickles in my back pocket just waiting to be written up.

I've been a bit of a pickling fool this year, so far I have asparagus, radishes, ramps, bread & butters, dill, two types of beans and these beauties.  I'm determined to keep as much of our eating as possible to local foods,  even in the winter.  In a climate where we have such brutal winters that meas freezing, jamming and pickling stuff when it's in season.  Lucky for me the Boy is behind this endeavor and has gone bean picking and let me buy obscene quantities of farm fresh produce to fill our shelves and chest freezer with. He was admittedly skeptical about carrot pickles though.

But I first had pickled carrots a few month ago when I visited Simple Things Sandwiches & Pie in LA.  Along with your sandwich you get are served a small pile of pickled vegetables.  The carrots were ridiculously good, along with everything else there, and when I set about my preserving plans for this summer I just new carrot pickles were going to be on the agenda, whether the Boy was behind them or not.

We pickled up three gorgeous bunches of carrots at a farm stand a few weeks ago and I got to searching the internet for a recipe.  The one I used is courtesy of the fabulous folks over at Well Preserved, one of my favorite preserving sites out there.  When I found the recipe I realized for as much as I read their blog, I've never tried one of their recipes!  That just seems crazy so I set about to give these pickles a try.

I'll be honest, I haven't tried these suckers yet, as I'm trying my hardest to keep my preserves for when we can't get things as readily, but the more I think about them the more I think I need to make myself a rich and gooey grilled cheese, because I just know these spicy pickled carrots will just go perfectly with it!  I'm excited to show the Boy how delicious they can be and hope that we like them enough to make another couple jars.

print recipe

Spicy Carrot Pickles
  • 3 1/2 lbs fresh carrots - peeled
  • 5 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 tsps canning salt
  • 2 tsps dill seed (about 1/2 tsp per jar)
  • 4-8 garlic cloves (1-2 per jar)
  • 14 tsps hot pepper flakes (3 1/2 tsps per jar)
1. Prep your hot water canner for canning and place empty jars in the boiling water and the flat lids in a heat proof bowl. Wash and peel the carrots – cut in quarters, then sticks and wash again before continuing.2. Combine water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add carrots and boil for 10 minutes (this does soften them but also allows the brine to penetrate)3. Pull the jars from the canner and place on a folded towel. Ladle some of the hot water over the flat lids. 4. Place the dill, garlic and pepper in the bottom of the sterilized pint jars (this is why there are measurements per jar above)5. Fill the jars with the hot carrots and vinegar mixture and leave 0.5 inch headspace. Using a chopstick move the carrot around to remove any air bubbles.6. Wipe the jar rims with a damp paper towel, top with the flat lids and tighten the rings until they are finger tight. 7. Place in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove to the folded towel and let sit undisturbed for 12 hours.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 pint jars

What have you pickled so far this season? I'd love to hear all about your adventures with the lovely summer produce and how you keep it year round.

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