Caraway Pickled Carrots
If you like your pickles spicy, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. This recipe is from P.Y.T. in Los Angeles, CA.
- 12 ounces small carrots, any color, tops trimmed to 1½ inches, peeled
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 1-inch strip orange zest
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
Place carrots in a medium heatproof bowl. Toast caraway seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a dry medium saucepan over medium heat, shaking pan often, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add orange zest, vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour pickling liquid over carrots (they should be submerged). Let cool; cover and chill at least 8 hours before serving.
Do Ahead: Carrots can be pickled 5 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Nutritional ContentCalories (kcal) 50Fat (g) 0Saturated Fat (g) 0Cholesterol (mg) 0Carbohydrates (g) 14Dietary Fiber (g) 1Total Sugars (g) 10Protein (g) 0Sodium (mg) 370
Crudité the Fresh WayReviews Section
Pickled Cocktail Carrots
Cocktail Carrots are easy to make and take only a couple hours to pickle in the fridge. Make them earlier in the day and you have an instant appetizer to offer your guests while dinner cooks. Or use them to garnish your brunch Bloody Mary.
By Maya Parson
Cocktail Carrots are easy to make and take only a couple hours to pickle in the fridge. Make them earlier in the day and you have an instant appetizer to offer your guests while dinner cooks.
I used to eat at a place that served a little dish of Moroccan spiced carrots alongside its sandwiches. The sandwiches were excellent, but I would have eaten there for the coriander and cumin flavored carrots alone.
I started pickling my own carrots with those spiced carrots in mind. One day I accidentally dumped caraway instead of cumin seeds into the brine. It was a happy accident—the pickles were delicious.
It was also a good lesson: carrots are like the little black dress of the vegetable world. They can be basic and uninspired, but with the right “accessories,” they are smashing.
The Samuel Rises From The Ashes Of CLOU
I make these carrots regularly with garlic, oregano and hot chilies, but I also love them with cumin, caraway, or fennel. You can mix up the spices however you like. (I’ve offered several variations below.) Crunchy, spicy, and a little bit sweet, they are terrific for serving with cocktails or beer, or for garnishing a Bloody Mary.
11 Homemade Pickles That Punch Up Your Plate
If you’re craving the ultimate make-ahead, healthy snack, then look no further than pickled vegetables. While the dill-spiked cucumber variety tends to set the standard, that’s just the tip of the spear. Pretty much any veggie is perfectly suited to take the plunge in a bath of brine.
Some pickles are great to enjoy on their own, while others are better suited as a pairing with a rich, savory, meaty companion. Keep things quick and simple or let fermentation work its magic for added complexity. Focus on a single vegetable or a combine a few for a mix of flavor and texture.
In other words, your pickled vegetable recipe options are seemingless endless. But to get started, pucker up to some of our favorites.
Easy Quick Pickles
If you’ve never tried D.I.Y. pickling, start here. Whatever your veggie surplus happens to be, if it takes a dip in apple cider vinegar infused with herbs and spices, you’ll have a go-to munchie for weeks, even months. Get our Easy Quick Pickles recipe .
Weck Glass Jars, $3.99-$4.99 at The Container Store
Perfect for a small batch of pickles.
Momofuku Beet Pickle
That David Chang sure does love his pickles. The Momofuku maestro has recipes for veggies of all stripes— turnips , carrots , cucumbers , even ramps . But his pickled beets absolutely can’t be, well, beat. So grab that mandoline slicer, some kombu, and a dark apron (beets do like to make their mark). Get the Momofuku Beet Pickle recipe .
Pickled Red Onions
Rosy pink, slightly crunchy, and 100 percent tangy, a scattering of pickled red onions can take a dish from drab to fab. Try them on tacos (especially cochinita pibil ), with barbecued meat, or over scrambled eggs. Get our Pickled Red Onions recipe .
Easy Napa Cabbage Kimchi
This Korean classic takes time (fermentation doesn’t happen overnight), but it is absolutely worth it. While many vegetables can be used for kimchi if traditional seasonings and preparations are applied, cabbage is the O.G. foundation. Make Umma proud and fix up your own batch. Get our Easy Napa Cabbage Kimchi recipe .
Garlic Dill Pickles
Are you really gonna let a cartoon stork who sounds like Groucho tell you what dill pickles to eat? The homemade version of the deli staple earns far better marks than store bought. Serve alongside a pastrami on rye or enjoy a spear solo as an anytime snack. Get the Garlic Dill Pickles recipe .
Tangy Cucumber Pickles
Also known as ah-jaht, these Thai chili-infused pickles are sure to spice things up. It’s the perfect picnic pleaser, but also keep a couple of extra jars in your fridge to top your burger or go traditional and pair them with grilled chicken satay . Get our Tangy Cucumber Pickles recipe .
Our First Recipe Swap Featuring Carrots & My Favorite Pickled Carrots
I came up with the idea of a Snack Girl reader recipe swap while on the treadmill at my new gym. I have started walking inside because it is so bleeping cold outside.
This sweet woman next to me was talking about how she was working off all of the holiday cookies that she inhaled. She told me that she gets together before Christmas with 7 of her friends. They all make 8 dozen cookies, bring one dozen to eat at a party, and then give each other the rest.
I envisioned 7 dozen cookies in my house and asked her if they ever shared anything healthier, like a salad swap. Needless to say, she moved treadmils :)
You couldn’t do a salad swap, of course, because you would have a ton of salad to eat in a short period of time. But, you can still swap recipes! I decided it would be fun for all of us to share our favorite recipes so we could all get inspired to eat more vegetables.
This month, we will attempt carrots. Why carrots? They are in season, inexpensive, and everyone can find them.
For February, we will work on cauliflower and March will be cabbage. Then, we get to start on the exciting spring vegetables that start showing up in the produce section and Farmer’s markets. It will be warm again and I will be walking outside not like a gerbil in a cage. Aaah.
I was going to create an original to Snack Girl carrot recipe, but I ran out of time. The recipe below for pickled carrots is my FAVORITE. You cannot go wrong. They are delicious with a sandwich or as a crunchy pre-dinner snack. Please try it and let me know what you think.
Please share your winning carrot recipes.
Pickled Carrots Recipe
1 pound carrots (baby carrots will work)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon coarsely crushed black peppercorns (optional)
1/4 finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)
Peel and slice carrots into sticks. If you are using baby carrots you can skip this step. Pour water and rice vinegar into a small saucepan. Mix in sugar, salt, caraway seed, and pepper and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar and salt have dissolved, about 1 minute. Add the carrots and parsley. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a storage container. Can be eaten in one day or up to one month.
79 calories, 0.3 g fat, 14.1 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g protein, 3.2 g fiber, 81 mg sodium, 0 Points+
Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes
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First 20 Comments: ( See all 38 )
I love the idea of a vegetable swap! lol! The cookie swaps kill me! Love the recipe for pickled carrots, great idea!!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 10, 2013
Is that a quarter cup of parsley? This looks really useful as a lunch box treat. Do you store in fridge?
Jennie on January 10, 2013
I like to take baby carrots (but you could use peeled large carrots too), brush a bit of olive oil on them, then season them with some herbs, and roast them till they are soft. You can mix them with other veggies or have them alone. Its a great easy side dish!
I always keep a bag of baby carrots on hand and I am going to make this this weekend. Thanks. Looking forward to all the great vegetable recipies that will be coming our way. I have a feeling I will be doing alot of cut and paste.
Ok this is more of a recipe request lol. Anyone got a crockpot sweet carrot recipe? I have a huge bag of carrots and I love them roasted with brown sugar, but Iɽ like to just do it in the crockpot today.
I cut carrots into sticks, mix with a little olive oil, thyme and black pepper and roast in the oven. It brings out the great sweetness in the carrot and is a great winter side dish. Like Cindy said, you can mix other veggies with them, like potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, turnip. oh the possibilities!
I like to cut carrots (or parsnips) into sticks and put on a cookie sheet with a drizzle of sesame oil. Shuffle the carrots around so they're coated (sometimes I add a little grapeseed oil to thin out the sesame oil) and sprinkle sesame seeds all over the carrots. Roast in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or until tender. Sesame seeds and oil have a lot of good nutrients and this is a good way to sneak them in!
Love, love, love this idea. Will be making pickled carrots soon. Looks delish!
Janice on January 10, 2013
One of my favorite ways to cook up carrots is roasted them in the oven. Cut lengthwise and coat in a mix of balsamic vinegar, minced garlic and a little olive oil and lemon juice. Cook for about 2-30 minutes at 400 degrees and you have a very simple, healthy and delicious little side dish!
Shaina on January 10, 2013
I made these the other day. Yummy! Next time I will let vinegar cool first, as it ɼooked' the carrots a bit by dumping the hot mixture on them. Kids liked them too!
Sherri on January 10, 2013
A recipe swap! Excellent idea!
Roasted Carrots and Peas
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into quarters lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
Your seasoning of choice.
Prepare carrots, place in ziploc bag with oil and your seasoning (dill is excellent.)
Preheat oven to 450
Spread carrots on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Roast for 25 minutes, tossing halfway.
After 25 minutes, add the peas, toss and roast another 10 minutes.
Calories:119 Fat: 4g Sat fat: 0.6g Chol: 0mg
Sodium: 136mg Carb: 17.9g Fiber: 5.6g Protein: 4.3g
Trevor LaRene on January 10, 2013
CARROT BISQUE RECIPE
Mince or grate 2 inches fresh ginger, chop 5cups carrots, 1lrg onion, 1red pepper, [can use food processor] saute all, add 6-8cups '➾tter Than Bouillon'' no-chic broth*, simmer til soft, whirl with immersion blender, stir in 1tsp. curry, taste for s/p seasoning, garnish with parsley or snipped chives. Sometimes toasted sesame seeds too. [At my healthfood market I found a sm. seed grinder called a 'slicky' which I keep filled with toasted sesame seeds next to the s/p a fresh grind releases so much flavor I add a turn or two to lots of soups, salads, etc.]
*I find this brand of broth paste to taste very homemade and it makes over 9qts per jar and costs $6! I use it sparingly even tho its low in salt.
I don't blend this bisque totally smooth it stays a bit lumpy which is a great texture.
BARB L on January 10, 2013
It gets 5 stars. I saw this in TV the other night.
Alton Brown's glazed carrots
1 lb carrot, approximately 7 medium, peeled and cut on the bias 1/4-inch thick
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup ginger ale (good quality)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
In a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat, combine the carrots, butter, salt and ginger ale.
Cover and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, remove the lid, stir, and reduce the heat to low.
Cover again and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid, add the chili powder and increase the heat to high.
Cook, tossing occasionally, until the ginger ale is reduced to a glaze, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley.
Absolutely love your idea! Can't wait for more!
Carrots a la orange
1 lb. peeled and sliced carrots
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbs. butter
How to make it
Cook carrots in boiling salted water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and ginger.
Add orange juice.
Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Cook 1 minute longer stir in butter until melted.
Pour over hot carrots, tossing to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
Goldie Portolos Nam on January 10, 2013
Aloha all! Carrots are my best friend! I add them to everything. Pancakes, yes smoothies, yes muffins, yes chili, yes spaghetti, yes soups, yes salad, of course meatballs, yes meatloaf, yes burgers, yes pasta salad, yes oatmeal, yes. the list goes on! I shred them, put them in snack bags, freeze them, and then add them to everything! :) Happy shredding. :)
I love glazed carrots:
boil baby carrots until tender-crisp, drain add orange juice (about 1/2 cup)and honey (good squirt) let simmer until glazed.
Cristina @ An Organic Wife on January 10, 2013
generally Iam not a salad person,but I make a carrot salad which tastes great and goes really wwell with BBq foods. It's grated carrot,chopped up prunes,walnuts broken up into pieces and a drizzle of walnut oil.I also sometimes add little pieces of serrano ham,but it is great without.
sharon on January 10, 2013
I love carrot raisin salad but I don't eat it very often because it's loaded with mayo. I don't like the taste of the lighter versions of mayo so does anyone have any suggestions for a substitution that would taste similar or maybe even better?
Cynthia Hair on January 10, 2013
See all 38 Comments
Torshi Liteh | Persian pickled vegetables
Have you ever heard the name “Torshi”? Have you ever tasted this heavenly taste side dish? If you don’t know what it is and how it tastes just follow along.
Torshi is a popular Middle Eastern and Mediterranean side dish that is very tasty. The dish is basically pickled vegetables and fruits and is served as appetizer and side dish. Naz Khatoon and Torshi Sir are the other Persian Torshis you can enjoy tasting.
The Torshi we are going to introduce is Liteh. Torshi Liteh is one of the most flavorful torshis you can imagine. This chutney is so alluring that you would not be able to resist! Just bring a bowl full of Liteh on the table and watch it being consumed rapidly by your guests before starting the main course!
Liteh is made from different ingredients and in many various ways. This side dish is very popular and loved in winter and autumn. Making this traditional sour Torshi is very easy and it would not take much energy. Be with us and learn about this lovely food.
Csalamádé--Hungarian Pickled Mixed Vegetables
1. Wash the vegetables thoroughly and slice them up. You don’t need to peel the cucumber. If you want pretty jars, you can use many different colored peppers/paprika. Place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, caraway seeds, the mustard seeds, and vinegar. Break the bay leaves into smaller pieces, toss and let it rest for 4-6 hours at least.
2. Once the mix has rested, place the vegetables in the prepared jars. When they are full, fill them up with the vegetable juice from the bowl. It’s worth stuffing the jars with a lot of veggies so the taste will be even better.
(Feel free to experiment! For example, my mom loves to make other variations too, such as only using cabbage and carrots, or she uses cherry paprika instead of bell peppers.)
Salad of Heritage Baby Carrots, Goats Curd and Toasted Caraway
Our Chef Director Chris Holland worked as Head Chef at the prestigious Alderley Edge hotel before joining us. He has a passion for using the best produce and never compromises on quality. Author of our best selling book Sous Vide The Art of Precision Cooking, Chris is a expert on the sous vide technique.During the later part of my school days at Wardle High School Rochdale I always wanted to be a chef . I knew from the very start that my path to work was never going to be academic it was always going to be something practical and hands on.
As a young boy growing up I was inspired to cook with my Grandma who was and still is an inspiration to me . I have memories of helping make the cakes that she always had made for visitors and family alike . She made the most amazing cakes and I loved nothing more than eating the sweet raw cake batter straight from the bowl . We used to fight over who got to lick the bowl/spoon after the cakes were made. My grandma’s philosophy for cooking even on a shoe string budget was always to use fresh and seasonal ingredients either home grown or bought from the market.
School was somewhat of a drag for me as I was itching to learn to become a chef.
I started at Hopwood Hall college as a chef and instantly fell in love with it .To me it was the only real time I excelled in something and this inspired me to really get my head down and put in the hard work. College was the first time I really excelled in something and gave me the opportunity to laugh at the teachers who said I would never make something of my life.
During the three years at college I also took on a part time position in a local hotel working the bar and restaurant first and then the kitchen. These were great days and gave me the opportunity to see how the industry ticks. I learnt a lot from those days both good and bad !! But I have to say I was itching to work only in the kitchen but it was a good insight into the catering world .
After completing college I moved away from Rochdale for a full time roll at one of Cheshire’s most talked about Hotel restaurants The Stanneylands Hotel. This was the school of hard knocks for me as I quickly realised that although excelling at college meant nothing in “The Real World”.
I loved every minute of the 18 hour days 6 days a week on minimum wage . Although difficult I feel that without this grounding I wouldn’t have achieved what I have today. After 18 months of hard graft I left Stanneylands and went with the Head chef to open a fine dining restaurant at Mere Golf and Country Club. The opportunity to work alongside Matthew Barrett was too good to turn down. I learnt so much from the ex-Ritz chef and working in a much slower paced role helped me develop a much better understanding of how to organise and run a kitchen. We were a very small team and teamwork was and still is the only way to go for me.
After 2 years at Mere I got the opportunity to go into The Alderley Edge Hotel as Junior Souschef. The Early days at the Edge were all about learning new styles of cuising which is invaluable in any role as a chef. I got the opportunity to grow and learn all aspects of every section which was inspiring . I was offered the opportunity at the age of 29 (2004) to take the role of head chef. For me this was when I really started to develop my own style of food.
After 9 years at the top winning Cheshire restaurant of the year , Chef of the Year and appearing on GBM amongst many highlights including cooking for many celebrities and famous people I decided to move on into development with Sousvidetools.
The main inspiration for this was to train and educate people . I always had a great passion for education but could never really see myself at a college . The job is super rewarding and I am proud to say we have become the leading light in sous-vide education in the UK . This is something I am very proud of . Food is my biggest passion and this is what keeps me interested the most . I love to travel and try out other countries cuisines. I am constantly inspired by ingredients and the pursuit of getting the best out of them without destroying their natural flavour .It is super important to me to continue to try and be at the forefront of the food scene this is what inspire me and the team to keep driving forward .
Technology is now widely used in the industry and I am super proud to say we have been a big part of spreading that message.
I am very lucky to be in the position I am and the drive to constantly improve our training and links to the next generation of young budding hospitality chefs.
TI feel that my experience over the last 25 years really enables me to get close and educate the “next generation” of chefs .
The industry which I love is really struggling to bring through new recruits and if I can help that process I will be immensely proud.
The food seen in the Uk has improved dramatically over the last ten years and I feel this will continue with the correct education. What happens next only fate will tell us.
Soleier: German Pickled Eggs
German Soleier, or pickled, hard-boiled eggs, are typical pub food all over Europe, not just in Germany.
Originally, foods were pickled to preserve them for consumption in the winter. But the unique flavor caught on and now foods are pickled year-round. Fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and eggs are all popular options.
When farmers who raised chickens had an overproduction of eggs and there was a glut in the marketplace, they preserved them by pickling.
It's no secret that German pickles are revered and take pride of place on the dining table, from a street vendor, in a pub or in a biergarten. But pickled eggs can hold their own against the almighty pickled cucumber.
Since these eggs will be pickled, the recipe calls for 5 percent vinegar. That means vinegar with a 5 percent acetic acid content. Some cooks add thinly sliced onions to the brine so feel free to do that if you like (but obviously it alters the flavor somewhat).
This recipe is perfect for using up all those decorated Easter eggs that seem to multiply just by sitting next to each other. It's OK if the food coloring has seeped onto the whites of the eggs, as often happens. It will just make them more colorful.
Mix spices together in a small bowl.
Use this blend to season halved Brussels sprouts before sautéing and again when deglazing with an anise-based spirit such as Aquavit. Yields approximately 2 Tablespoons/25 grams.
Reprinted from The Spice Companion. Copyright © 2016 by Lior Lev Sercarz. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Thomas Schauer. Illustrations [email protected] 2016 by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Caraway Pickled Carrots - Recipes
This is my favorite time of the year. Some people look forward to snatching those last rays of warm summer sunshine and lazing around on a beach or dock. I prefer to hulk over a boiling vat of water, sweating and flitting from one cutting board to another, canning the ripest, juiciest, freshest summer fruits and vegetables that I can find. A few weeks ago I entered into what I affectionately call my annual “extravaCANza”, and the 61 jars of pickles, chutneys, jams and poached fruits which are now stocking the pantry will keep me sated and happy for months to come. It may seem ludicrous to hunker in front of a steaming pot in August, but I say that it is well worth the effort when you bite into a sweet, plump, juicy preserved peach on a cold February day and taste that little bit of summer.
Oh yes, and it’s not like I didn’t have help with the canning. There was at least one other member of this household who was eager to participate, invited or otherwise.
I’ll share a few of this year’s recipes with you, including lavender and honey poached peaches, a small batch of fig and rose jam and blackberry balsamic vinegar. But first, I have to tell you about these carrots. I love pickled carrots (well, frankly I love pickled anything), but these are something else. These are something special.
We had a couple of friends over last Tuesday and, with nothing prepared, I scavenged through the kitchen to put on a paltry spread of warm spinach and artichoke dip (liberated from the freezer), fresh salsa (also part of extravaCANza), and an assortment of homemade pickles, including these spicy harissa carrots. Our friend James, who is always game to try something new (bless his heart) took a small nibble and paused. He chewed thoughtfully, swallowed slowly, and said, “So…I don’t know how to say this.”
“You said that these were pickled carrots?”
….Yes? Or should I say no? Crikey, I can’t say no. What, am I going to pretend that they’re woody orange cucumbers or something? Might as well just go with it. You can’t please ’em all.
“It’s just that….well, I really like pickles, most pickles, in fact. But, well, I’ve never had a pickled carrot before. So I don’t really know how to say this. But…”
“….I think that this is the best pickled THING that I have ever eaten.”
“No, really. I’m not trying to blow smoke here or anything –“
although the carrots are spicy enough that he probably could have…..
” — but these are really, really…..they’re just REALLY good.”
Aw, shucks. Over the last two weeks we have already eaten our way (with a little bit of help) through three jars of these crunchy beauties, and I dare say that I’ll have to make another batch before the summer is over.
Now then, if at this point you’re still scratching your head and wondering what the heck “harissa” is, I suppose we should start there. I sometimes toss steamed carrots with a bit of olive oil and harissa (the inspiration for these gems), and each time Mike says, “So tell me again…what exactly is ‘harissa’?” At which point I roll my eyes and mutter something about chili sauce. For you, however, since I haven’t explained it before: Harissa is a Middle Eastern condiment made with a base of hot red chili peppers, garlic, a variety of key spices like cumin and caraway, occasionally some sugar and often a fair bit of salt for preservation. Harissa can be dolloped as-is beside grilled meats or chicken, used in marinades or swirled into sauces and soups. If you haven’t had crispy skinned harissa grilled chicken, well, you haven’t lived.
Harissa is usually easy enough to find jarred or canned from a Middle Eastern grocery store, but for this recipe I recommend that you make your own. It really takes very little effort and you can control the amount of flavor from each element – chili, garlic and spices. I have bought several brands of harissa before in the past (they’re nice to have on hand for convenience), but none of them had the earthy, spicy flavor of homemade. In fact, more often than not, they either taste “hot” or “salty hot”. You know that you can do better than that.
Spicy Harissa Pickled Carrots
- 4 lb fresh, crunchy carrots
- 10 – 20 dried chili peppers
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp coriander seed
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 2 tsp caraway seed
- 6 cups pickling vinegar (5%)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canning salt
Notes on the ingredients: Rather than making you scroll through star (*) after star (*), why don’t I just lay it all out there? Your carrots have to be fresh. I mean crunchy, recently unearthed, fresh and seasonal carrots. An old carrot which is a bit bendy will be soft and have the texture of a mattress pad when it is processed. As for the chili peppers, some like it hot and that’s the group that I fall into. Ergo, 20 dried cayenne peppers it was! If you want a bit of spice but like moderation, 10 cayenne peppers would be fine. If you’re going to use another dried chili with less heat, adjust the number accordingly. I wouldn’t recommend using 10 small fiery dried Thai birds eye peppers instead of 20 cayenne, even though the heat might be equivalent, because your jars just wouldn’t look as pretty without little red scraps floating to and fro in the brine. As for the brine, I used Heinz white pickling vinegar which has a 5% acetic acid measure. If you’re using a more acidic pickling vinegar then decrease the amount just slightly and sub in water to tone down the sourness. Filtered water and canning salt are preferred for a clean, clear product. If you use iodized or kosher salt then the brine may be cloudy or unpleasant. Make sure that your canning jars and clean and sterilized with fresh lids and ring molds before you begin.
Call me paranoid, but I’m fairly certain that my local farmer’s market gets some of the produce from a sunny Southern US state and just dusts it with dirt so that it looks more authentic. These carrots, however, were sold to me by a local gal who had the fingernails to match, so I trust their authenticity.
Pour boiling water over the dried chilis in a shallow bowl and set them aside to rehydrate for 20-30 minutes. Again, the 20 cayenne that I used will make a pickle that is hot-hot-hot! If you’re not a fan of the heat you can scale it back as you see fit.
Toast the spices in a dry skillet over medium high heat until they are popping, fragrant and just starting to brown (about 1-2 minutes).
Drain the water off the chili peppers and shake them dry. Pluck off the stem ends but leave the seeds intact. Peel the garlic and chop the cloves into several smaller pieces to help things along. Using a small food processor, pulse together the chili peppers, garlic and toasted spices until they are combined but still a little bit chunky.
Peel the carrots and cut them into batons of roughly the same size, each about 1/3″ square by 4″ long. In terms of length, they should be tall enough to come up to 3/4″ from the top of your canning jars.
Heat the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a fairly large pot over medium heat until it is simmering and the salt/sugar are dissolved. Keep this mixture simmering as you get ready to pack the jars.
Layer about a tablespoon of harissa in the bottom of each clean and sterilized jar. Pack the carrots in densely until your jars are evenly filled and then divide the remaining harissa over top.
Pour the vinegar brine over your carrots until it comes to 1/2″ away from the top of the jar. Wipe the lip clean with a towel and seal with a fresh cap and ring mold.
Heat process the jars for 10 minutes. If you are a novice to canning, “heat processing” requires that you take a canner (or very, very large pot) with a canning rack on the bottom, fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Nestle your sealed jars on the rack, being sure that they are covered with 1-2″ of boiling water. You “process” them by boiling the jars for the specified time in this case, 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the jars from the canner when ready and set them aside to cool. After a few minutes you should hear that glorious characteristic “pop” that means your jars are vacuum sealed and ready to go on the shelf. Do give the lids a final quick tighten before you do because sometimes they loosen during the boil.
Try not to eat them all at once. The first bite is garlicky, tangy but slightly sweet and earthy with spice. The aftertaste, however, is a fiery punch in the gums to remind you that these ain’t your grandma’s pickled carrots. By the third or fourth carrot that you chow down on, which is inevitable after the first taste, you will be hooked. Trust me. Or rather, trust James because he knows a good pickle when he sees one.