I remember every summer growing up, my mum would spend days pickling local vegetables. I swear we had enough homemade preserves in our basement to outlast an apocalypse, that is of course if one could survive on pickled beets, bread and butter and mustard pickles.
Pickling is an excellent method for preserving vegetables, especially if your garden has been abundantly fruitful. Some of the most common and popular vegetables for pickling include asparagus, beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, green tomatoes and onions.
After watching my mum pickle everything under the sun, I figured it was time I’d try it myself. I love the crunch of a classic dill pickle, but wanted to try something a little bit less traditional.
Last year I’d bought pickled carrots from the Masstown Market and really enjoyed them, so I decided that my first endeavor into the world of preserves would be with this simple recipe for Garlic & Dill Pickled Carrots.
You will need:
3 small Mason jars with lids
3 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
1 bunch of carrots
1 bulb or 6 cloves of garlic
Start by washing your Mason jars and lids in hot soapy water, then rinse and place them on a baking sheet and leave them in a preheated oven (107°C/225°F) to sterilize until ready for use.
Note: Improperly processed, home-canned foods pose an increased risk of foodborne illness. Therefore this, and further steps to reduce the risk of contamination are extremely important. Click here for more tips on safe practices for home canning.
Depending on how quickly you are able to prep ingredients and whether or not you decide to double or triple the batch, you may want to do these next steps in a different order. If you take a little longer to prep, or are making multiple batches, I’d recommend prepping the ingredients first.
I only made a single batch, so I began by heating a large pot of water and then proceeded to make the brine and prep ingredients while the water came to a boil.
The brine is made up of three ingredients: water, vinegar and sea salt. To make the pickling brine, combine these ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to a simmer until ready for use.
While the brine is heating, peel and cut the carrots into sticks that will fit in the Mason jars. You’ll want to leave approximately 1-inch between the carrots and the top of the jar to allow space for the dill, garlic and brine.
Before adding them to the sterilized jars, it is best to blanch the carrots. Blanching is the process of partially cooking vegetables in boiling water until they are slightly tender but still hold their crunch, then quickly submerging them in ice water to inhibit further cooking. This process helps to maintain the carrots’ vibrant colour throughout pickling.
It’s time to pack your jars! Remove the jars and lids from the oven, fill each jar with carrots, a few sprigs of dill leaves and seed, two cloves of garlic and a few black peppercorns.
Top each of the jars up with brine then carefully place the lids on and twist to close. Using oven mitts and a pair of tongs, add the jars to the large pot of boiling water and leave to boil for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the boiling water and leave, undisturbed on a cooling rack to allow to seal. The jars will seal as they cool, usually you will hear the jars ‘pop’ within the first hour or two, however, I’d recommend leaving them on the counter overnight or for at least 12 hours.
Store the jars in a cool, dark place and allow to sit for 3 to 5 weeks before enjoying.
If you try this recipe at home, please let us know what you think! Post a photo on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and #uprootedblog.
- 3 c. water
- 1 c. white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 bunch of carrots (Centreville, NS)
- Fresh dill (leaves and seed) (Lake Charlotte, NS)
- 1 bulb or 6 cloves of garlic (Centreville, NS)
- 3 small Mason jars with lids
- Preheat oven to 107°C (225°F).
- Wash Mason jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse and place in the oven on a baking sheet until ready for use.
- Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the Mason jars and bring to a boil.
- Combine the brine ingredients (water, vinegar and sea salt) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- While the brine comes to a boil, peel and cut the carrots into sticks that will fit in the Mason jars (leaving approximately 1-inch at the top).
- Blanch the carrots: bring a pot of water to a roaring boil. Add the raw carrots, cook no longer than 90 seconds. Remove quickly and add to a prepared ice water bath.
- Remove the Mason jars and lids from the oven. Add the blanched carrots, a few sprigs of dill leaves and seed, 2 cloves of garlic and a few black peppercorns to each car. Fill with jar with the vinegar brine.
- Carefully place the lids on the jars and twist to close (be careful: the lids may still be hot).
- Add the jars to the large pot of boiling water and leave for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water and leave undisturbed on a cooling rack to allow to seal.
- Store in a cool dark place for 3 to 5 weeks.