I seem to be on a bit of a pickling bender at the moment, I’m hoarding jars and cramming things into them as often as I can. I suspect it has a lot to do with the bountiful harvests that are coming out of the community garden at the moment. As last season’s crops make way for summer veg, I find myself coming home with bags filled with carrots, gigantic onions and monster heads of garlic. Even though I’m only taking small amounts, it’s still more than two people can eat so to make the most of it I’ve been doing my best to preserve the harvest for future use.
These carrots were done out of desperation. I looked into the crisper and saw a growing collection of carrots, some of them threatening to become gross, flaccid numbers that are of little to no use (other than the stockpot). Inspired by the pickled veg I often see in Vietnamese Banh Mi stores, I decided to have a go at pickling some carrots.
My original intention was to use these in homemade banh mi, when the jar was filled and the lid went on I thought perhaps I had gone slightly overboard, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find they are a welcome addition to pretty much everything. I’ve been adding them to salads, sandwiches and, of course, my own homemade version of banh mi. It’s great because instead of having to take that extra step of peeling and chopping carrots (I know it’s not a huge step) we can just grab the jar and go. The pickling juice also makes an easy dressing for salads.
My ‘recipe’ is not really a recipe, more of a guideline. It will really depend on how big your jar is, but as a guide I’ve written how I did it below. I’m using these right away and storing in the fridge so didn’t feel the need to process in a hot water bath, but if you were planning to store them for a longer period before use then I think it would be worth processing for at least 15 minutes.
- 3 cups carrot, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandolin (about 3-4 large carrots)
- 2 tbspns salt
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 2.5 cups of water
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 1litre jar with lid – hot, clean and sterilised
- Put chopped carrots in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss through with your hands to coat.
- Leave for 10-15 minutes.
- Prepare your jar by washing first in warm soapy water and then drying in a warm oven set to 150 degrees centigrade.
- Transfer carrots to a large sieve and place over the bowl.
- Using your hands, squeeze out the excess moisture for 3-4 minutes.
- Rinse well and set aside.
- In a saucepan add the vinegar, water and sugar.
- Heat over a low flame and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to a gentle boil and remove from the heat.
- Grab hot jar, add the carrots first (I used a jam funnel to make life easy), followed by the brine.
- Seal tightly and allow to cool.
- Once cooled store in the fridge.