Maple Ginger Pickled Carrots and Pennsylvania

by autumn on August 2, 2012

We can’t always be around our people. When I first made these carrot quick pickles from David Lebovitz, I was living in a small Queens apartment with 3 (!) other women. I couldn’t care less about carrot sticks, but send them swimming in vinegar and I can easily put away about half a pound per day. I liked these carrots. I made them a lot until one day when a roommate returned home mid-pickling and asked if I was pickling again in a way that made it apparent she wasn’t as psyched as I was about the fact that I chose one of the smelliest ways possible to monopolize the kitchen. These were nice enough people, but these were not my people.

Last weekend, at the Big Summer Potluck, I was with my people and it was great. I tried my darndest to be present and not sneak off by myself too much to take pictures or just wallow in my social anxiety. I was mostly successful, save for some quality time in a field, eye to eye with an expanse of Queen Anne’s Lace. When I wasn’t crouched in some weeds, I was grateful and in awe. I was taken care of and tickled to be around so many folks that I deeply admire. Also, I ate my first legitimate waffle in a lot of years. So, yeah. Grateful.

I came home with a roll full of pictures of Queen Anne’s Lace and a hankering for carrot pickles. As serendipity would have it, it turns out the two are botanical relatives—the former known by poets for “taking the field by force.” Talk about a new mantra.

Maple Ginger Pickled Carrots


  • 1 lb carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, cut into thin very coins
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup cider vinegar

Cooking Directions

  1. Over high heat, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Peel the carrots. Halve and quarter the carrots so that each carrot gives you eight small carrot sticks. Aim for a relatively uniform thickness.
  3. Once the water is boiling, add the carrots and cook for one minute.
  4. After one minute, remove from heat, strain, and run under cold water. Set aside.
  5. In the same medium pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil over high heat.
  6. Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. Pack the carrots into two pint jars and carefully pour the warm brine into the jars, making sure the spices are evenly distributed.
  8. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate. If you can resist eating these for a day or two, the flavor will be even better.


  • The bunches of carrots that I get at the greenmarket or in my CSA are usually right around one pound.


Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 art and lemons August 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I had no idea the carrot and qal’s are botanical kin and leave it to WCW to write about them in a way that seizes my breath. A field of queen anne’s lace and BSP, sounds perfect and I like the way you’ve captured them in the photos. I also really like gingered pickles, so thanks for sharing.


2 autumn August 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Right, Nikki? Although now I can’t get the idea of a carrot with a Queen Anne’s Lace top out of my head.


3 Emily August 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm

It was so so great to meet you!


4 Mary Kay August 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Hmm, carrots are one of about 3 veggies the kids will eat (with dip!), wondering how they would feel about these, may be worth a try. Wonderful to meet you this weekend and read your recap!


5 autumn August 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I was so happy to meet both of you, Emily and Mary Kay! Mary Kay, maybe look at the original David Lebovitz recipe because I think it might be a little more kid friendly. Or, maybe your kiddos are fans of ginger! 🙂


6 Casey@Good. Food. Stories. August 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm

What art & lemons said – of course WCW would have the most breathtaking description of Queen Anne’s Lace! I remember pulling it out by the roots as a kid and marveling in its sweet, parsnip-like smell… which now, come to think of it, could totally be a carrot smell too.


7 Eileen August 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hooray for pickled carrots! My mom used to pickle carrots when I was little, and we ate them just as quickly as ordinary dills–maybe even more quickly!


8 Margaret Arsenault August 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm

If you wanted to make a large batch- How would you process them for shelf life.


9 autumn August 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Hi Margaret, this recipe cannot be made shelf stable. Here’s a larger batch pickled carrot recipe that can:


10 Elizabeth August 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Queen Anne’s Lace is one my favorite flowers too! Hanging out with you last weekend was an incredible treat. And these pickles? They sound like a wonderful reason to stink up the kitchen any time of day. Not down with pickling? I have no words.


11 janet @ the taste space August 12, 2012 at 4:18 am

These look wicked awesome. Since they are stored in the fridge, is it possible to use less sweetener?


12 autumn August 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

Hi Janet, you can definitely adjust the amount of sweetener. My word of caution would be that it may seem like a lot, but these are definitely not a sweet pickle.


13 Sara @ The Cozy Herbivore August 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Oh, yum, I absolutely adore pickled carrots. Love the addition of the maple syrup!

And you’re totally right– anyone who frowns upon a kitchen reeking of vinegar and counters loaded with glass jars is not a person for you. (Or for me) Isn’t the internet a magical place, where we can meet “our people” from all around the world so we are assured that we are never really alone?


14 autumn August 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks, Sara! And, yes, this is definitely one of my favorite parts of the internet.


15 Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) August 24, 2012 at 1:50 am

I have not had pickled carrots, but I think its time to change that! My name is Cindy and I blog over at I wanted to invite you to link up your recipe at our Gluten Free Fridays Recipe Link up party! It happens every Friday and we’d love to have you join us with some of your awesome recipes! You can find this week’s link up here:
Also be sure to link up your blog on our Gluten Free Bloggers directory. You can reach the directory by clicking the “glutenfree bloggers” tab on our blog! Thanks, Cindy 🙂


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