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
- Over high heat, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
- Peel the carrots. Halve and quarter the carrots so that each carrot gives you eight small carrot sticks. Aim for a relatively uniform thickness.
- Once the water is boiling, add the carrots and cook for one minute.
- After one minute, remove from heat, strain, and run under cold water. Set aside.
- In the same medium pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil over high heat.
- Once the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Pack the carrots into two pint jars and carefully pour the warm brine into the jars, making sure the spices are evenly distributed.
- 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.