Friday, January 11, 2008

pickled carrot sticks

pickled carrot sticks

Seeing that it is a whole eleven days into aught-eight, I’m going to stagger a guess that you’re sick of carrot sticks by now. But I don’t want you to feel bad about it. We all hit that wall between our ambition and the reality that being “good” all of the time is no fun from time to time. Hey, some of us walked right past the gym last night and proceeded to go shopping instead. I’m just saying.

carrots

But since carrot sticks are inherently good, and good for you things, I see no reason to throw them out with the resolutions bathwater. Because what if that, uh, bathwater was bright and tangy? What if had a buttery dill vibe? What if it had a kick of garlic? What if you pickled your carrot sticks? If you were me, you would not be able to keep your tongs out of the jar. I had one of those “oh, let me try one and see how they came out” moments before I went to work Thursday morning. Then I tried another one. And another. Um, I had pickled carrot sticks for breakfast–I am gross. But these are not.

carrots

Be warned, however, the brine is so good it’s going to get you thinking “what can I pickle next?” Alex has been on the pickle prowl for a couple days now and I see him eying the leeks in the fridge, the beans in the pantry. I don’t like the way he looks at them. I hid the rest of the purple potatoes. I’m sleeping with one eye open.

pickled carrot stick

One year ago: Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Mustard-Caper Butter

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Pickled Carrot Sticks
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine

1 pound carrots, cut into 3 1/2- by 1/3-inch sticks
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup cider or plain vinegar (the former makes a sweeter, milder brine)
1/4 cup sugar
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds*
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Place carrots in a heatproof bowl. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over carrots and cool, uncovered. Chill carrots, covered, at least 1 day for flavors to develop.

Carrots keep, chilled in an airtight container, 1 month.

* From my own experience, and from comments I have received, I’ve learned that dill seeds aren’t always the easiest thing to find. Mine are from McCormick, but they were also the only bottle I could find in the two different stores I went to. If you can’t find them, use fresh or dried dill instead. You can put the dried dill in with the brine as you boil it. If fresh dill, I would drop it in the container your are storing the carrots in, just before you put them in the fridge.


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