I haven’t regretted sowing too many carrot seeds at all! Today I had to thin the carrots out for a second time, but nothing is going to waste this time either. I made a delicious cashew and carrot greens pesto from the first thinning, but now the carrots have had a little more time to develop, so I’m taking inspiration from my newest book from Noma, so carrots from this thinning will be pickled.
Contrary to what you may have heard, baby carrots are not sweeter than their larger, older, siblings – so pickling them seems like a great idea. The Purple Dragon Carrots are a beautiful colour and are really doing well. Thinking ahead for summer platters and edible gifts (in New Zealand Christmas happens in the Summertime, don’t you know), these pickled carrots will not only be very tasty but will be vibrant too. Naturally fermented using salt instead of vinegar, they will have a delicious lactic sourness with a little bit of a crunch.
- Washed wee carrots, tops trimmed
- Non-iodized sea salt or Himalayan salt
- Optional – bay leaf, peppercorns, caraway or fennel
You will need a sterilised jar
Set of scales
The amount of water and salt you will need depends on the size of jar and number of carrots, it’s the ratio that is important.
Here’s how you work out how much water and salt you’ll need:
- Place empty jar on scales and tare ( reset it to zero)
- Fill the jar with washed/trimmed baby carrots, you may want to half any large ones lengthwise
- Pour enough water into the jar to cover the carrots, take note of the total weight.
- Calculate 3% of the total weight – this is your salt measurement
- Pour the water from the jar into a mixing bowl, stir in salt until dissolved, return to the jar
- Add herbs and spices desired
- To ensure the carrots stay submerged you may want to use a fermentation weight or I keep the little plastic baskets you find wedged in the top of some shop bought pickled items
- Ferment at room temperature for about 2 weeks, turn the jar occasionally to keep the salt evenly dispersed
- Refrigerate once opened, they store well for a long time and can be added to salads and burgers too