This year for the first time, my family signed up for a CSA, or community supported agriculture. This is something that really wasn’t big in Alberta when I left, but there are around 50 CSA farms to choose from in the Madison area. Basically, you pay a flat rate to a farm at the beginning of the year, and you get a regular delivery of whatever they grow (typically vegetables, but possibly fruit, eggs, dairy or meat as well). Usually you can choose from a variety of sizes and frequencies for your deliveries. We got a standard sized share every week, as well as a half meat share. The standard sized share is typically for a whole family of vegetable eaters, which means that with our little family and only 2 major vegetable eaters, we will probably be drowning in vegetables this year. Plus, I also planted a little garden. So I guess I’m going to have to figure out how to use these wonderful veggies up.
Obviously carrots aren’t in season yet, but these Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots will do the trick on the Costco sized sack of carrots I bought a couple of weeks ago. I need to clear out my produce drawers to make room for all the leafy greens that are coming my way now!
I have been absolutely in love with pickled carrots since my mom used to make them when I was a kid. Unfortunately, I haven’t learned how to do home canning (yet), and they usually cost an arm and a leg to buy at the farmer’s market. Plus when you’re making canned pickles, you usually have to wait at least several days before eating them. With refrigerator pickles, there are no jars, sterilizing and they are done within a few hours! Plus, they taste so great that you’ll eat them up right away so you don’t need to worry about them being shelf stable anyway!
The first step to making these pickled carrots is to cut up the carrots. I like to cut them into strips, but if you prefer slices, knock yourself out. You want them thick enough that they don’t get too soft, but not so thick that they won’t absorb enough of the briny goodness. The carrots get boiled to soften them, but you don’t want to overcook them so that they get mushy in the hot brine. Cool them in ice water immediately, then layer the dill, garlic and carrots in a glass storage container or jar.
Now for the brine. Mix the water, vinegar, salt, dill seeds and pepper together in the same pot you used for the carrots (unless you really want to wash another pot – up to you) and bring to a boil until the salt dissolves. Pour the hot brine over the carrots/dill/garlic and let it cool. Once it’s about lukewarm, put on the lid and stick it in the fridge until cold. If you can’t resist sneaking a carrot now, don’t be disappointed if they’re not as vinegary-salty-dilly as you would like. Once they’ve sat in the fridge for a few hours, the flavor will get stronger.
Unlike with canned pickled carrots, these aren’t shelf stable and they won’t last for months in the fridge. They’ll be good for about a week or so, but you’ll probably have devoured them by then anyway. And since they’re so easy, you can just make more!
Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots
- 8-10 medium carrots peeled and cut into strips
- 8-12 sprigs dill
- 4 cloves medium garlic
- 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp dill seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until tender-crisp. Remove carrots from boiling water and immerse in ice water to cool.
- Layer dill sprigs, garlic and carrots in a glass food storage container or jar.
- Mix 3 cups of water, vinegar, salt, dill seeds and peppercorns in the same medium saucepan. Bring to a boil to dissolve salt. Pour brine over dill, garlic and carrots. Let sit at room temperature until cool, then cover and refrigerate to chill completely. Will last in the fridge for about 1 week.