Thursday, July 17, 2014

{Homemade}: Summer Pickling

Last weekend I finally got around to doing something that I had been wanting to do for what seems like forever: make my own homemade pickles.  With it came the nostalgia of remembering my truly amazing grandmother whom I used to watch as a little girl.  Upon reflection, it dawned on me that she could do it all, literally.  From preserving to canning to pickling to baking to cooking, her culinary prowess was as broad and as effortless as they come--and her pantry was always stocked with the abundant fruits of her labor for the taking and relishing.

So back to me and my kitchen, here I was, finally about to embark on my first pickling expedition.  Inspired by the abundant pickling ideas floating around, I decided to start with a simple method that didn't require the heavier lifting and technicalities of sterilizing jars, etc., etc., but only required the coming together of my homemade pickling brine (scrumptious) and my vegetable of choice, crisp carrots.  Within a matter of minutes, I was pouring my brine over the carrots and garlic cloves in my jar and salivating with the anticipation of what the next 24 hours would bring. 

Waiting period over, I couldn't wait to retrieve the treasure from my refrigerator and finally have a taste.  I loved the slightly sweet under note and briny goodness from the apple cider vinegar, along with the bright, sharp flavors that carried through from the mustard seed, fennel seed, red chili flakes, and more.  Light, healthy and refreshing, my pickled carrots are my new favorite snack for Summer.  

Not one to let a good thing go to waste, I plan on increasing my pickling repertoire in the days ahead.  In fact, I'm already eyeing fresh jalapenos for what's next.  Give it a try in your kitchen and let me know how you like it and what combinations you come up with.  From the brine variations to the ingredient profiles, there's a world of briny deliciousness just waiting to be discovered and savored!

Happy Eating!

Carrot Fridge Pickles
 Adapted from FOOD52


1 lb. carrots
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon whole coriander
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons mustard seed
½ teaspoon chili flakes

2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 ¼ cup water
2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar

Cut the carrots into spears that fit the height of the jars you are using.  Set carrots aside. In a saucepan combine the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer, and then turn off heat.  

Place the cut carrots in a clean jar(s).  Carefully pour the hot brine over until they are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day. Well sealed refrigerator pickles will keep for 1 month. Enjoy!


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