I’m currently writing this while on holiday in Vermont. I typically avoid work when there’s green mountains to traverse or to simply stare straight at with a cocktail in hand. We do a lot of staring up here. Everything is so green and big and amazing – not in an everyday sort of way (like, “your nails are so amazing!”) but a seriously stunning and majestic way. You can’t really look away. However, when my batch of Easiest Refrigerator Carrot Pickles was demolished inside of a few days, I had to look away, for a few moments, to share promptly.
The thing is, carrots are also amazing right now, likewise in a seriously stunning and majestic way. They’re small and delicate and certainly sweet but they have a green-tasting edge that tames the sweetness. You’re compelled to keep tossing them back, one by one. And when they’re pickled in an apple cider vinegar brine with any sort of thin onion and garlic, they’ll be gone in a day or three.
Find young carrots for this recipe, the sort you barely have to peel but you do anyway because a solidly peeled carrot stick, absent of any dark ridges, provides a more beguiling look. Trim them to fit your jars. Trim up some thin onions or even scallions and peel a couple garlic cloves to join the carrots, snug in the glass, because the flavor is amplified and wonderful. And do me this favor, skip the cane sugar and opt for maple sugar instead, which provides a warmer sweetness. If all you have is cane though, it will do the job.
Don’t try to can these pickles, unless you know your apple cider vinegar has 5% or more acetic acid; you need it to properly stabilize the produce. But if I’m being honest, I’m too busy enjoying summer to can right now. Refrigerator pickles work beautifully for this moment since I get so many nutrients from fresh veg – some nutrients are lost after long preservation periods – and I need all those nutrients when cradled inside a vodka martini. My recipe tastes alive and very right now, and I’d love to hear if you give it a go.
Easiest Refrigerator Carrot Pickles
- 1 1/2 pounds tiny spring carrots, peeled and trimmed to fit in your jar
- 6 to 8 thin spring onions or scallions, cleaned and trimmed to fit in your jar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon maple sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed slightly
- Set up a medium bowl with ice and water. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Blanch the carrots by tossing them into the water for 3 minutes, then carefully draining them and shocking them in the bowl of ice water for 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a clean towel. Set aside for a moment.
- Clean a three-cup wide-mouth jar and lid(s) (or your chosen jar) in hot water. Place the garlic in the bottom of the jar. Pack the carrots and onions, vertically, into the jar.
- In a medium pot, make a brine from the vinegar, water, sea salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring until dissolved, and then carefully pour the hot brine over the carrots, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Wipe the rim and seal the jar with lid and ring. As soon as the jar cools, please in the refrigerator to rest for 48 hours before eating.
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