I know I don’t always give you the most traditional combinations in my pickles. There may have been a cumin, basil, beet pickle, a mustardy rhubarb pickle and some minty turnips in my past. But today I bring you a totally solid standard of a fermented pickle: gingery carrots. Now don’t let their status as common pickle type fool you: these guys are amazing. Zingy, pretty and, of course, loaded with flavor, I highly recommend them.
Most of the ginger/carrot pickles I’ve seen have been done slaw-style, and that is a completely valid option that requires no brine, just salt. But as with almost all my pickles, I like them in bigger pieces. My main reasons for that are aesthetics and flexibility. I like the big pieces because they look like any other kind of pickled vegetable which is to say pretty and tempting. I also like them because they give me the option to chop them into smaller bits later, if the occasion calls for it. If I get my hands on big, sweet carrots, I’ll sometimes cut them into long, thick strips and ferment them in a half-gallon jar. Those make excellent swizzle sticks. It is possible I enjoy a bloody mary (or bloody carry or bloody kim) from time to time.
In any case, besides deciding which size pieces to use, there are few complications to making these pickles and the 3 minutes of chopping they take is well-rewarded weeks later when you have insane munchables to fulfill your every flavor desire. For me, these would make an excellent lunch box pickle.
GINGERY CARROT PICKLES
Yields one quart, easily scalable if you’re lucky enough to have abundant carrots
If you’re new to fermented pickling, please check out my basic pickling FAQ. There might be a thing or two in there for those of you with a bit of experience, too.
- 8-9 large carrots, unpeeled but thoroughly cleaned, greens reserved for another purpose. May I suggest carrot green pesto?
- 3 inches of ginger, sliced into matchsticks
- 1.5 Tablespoons salt, preferably salt with a high mineral content, such as sea salt or Real Salt brand salt
- 3 cups of water, room temperature
- Chop carrots into halves, or if they’re really long, thirds, not lengthwise. Cut the resulting long pieces into quarters, as pictured.
- Pack carrot sticks into your vessel (I used a quart jar) sliding the ginger matchsticks into empty spots between the carrots.
- Dissolve your salt into your room temperature water, and then pour it over your carrot sticks.
- Use the method of your choice (I like the ghetto jar method) to ensure that your veggies stay submerged.
- Let them sit at room temperature for one to two weeks, and enjoy!