This month Tigress’ challenge for the Can Jam is carrots. I recently harvested a bed of overwintered Purple Dragon and Scarlet Nantaise carrots and Javelin parsnips. Since I have a whole other bed to harvest still it was nice to use up the last of that bed we ate from all fall in this challenge so I can move on. It’s almost time to plant new carrots anyway!
I did have to buy the ginger for this but in another month I’ll be buying my hardy ginger start from Rockridge Orchard which will be nice. Ginger is one of those things I love but it only grows in tropical climates. There is a vendor in the summer at the farmer’s market who sells fresh ginger grown during summer temps in his hothouse in Eastern Washington which I should have pickled. Next year, right?
The hardy ginger is not the same plant, which is why it grows in Seattle. Instead of harvesting the roots you use the leaves to flavor things. I’m hoping between dried ground ginger, fresh leaves part of the year and pickled ginger root I won’t be buying any more imported or Hawaiian ginger root.
These pickles come together quickly and only require a 10 minute water bath. In fact, almost all the labor is in the peeling. The original recipe called for julienning them which would make this more of a condiment than a pickle. We like pickles around here so I cut them into sticks for munching straight out of the jar. I imagine they’ll be nice in school lunches for Pickle Man or diced into Loki salmon or St. Jude tuna sandwiches.
Vietnamese Carrot Pickles (adapted from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)
Makes 6 pint jars
3 cups Rockridge Orchard apple cider vinegar
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
2 pounds cut carrots
2 pounds cut daikon radishes or parsnips
1 small hot pepper or pinch crushed dried red pepper (optional)
Sterilize jars and lids.
In a large stainless steel pan combine the vinegar, water, sugar and ginger root. Bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves.
Add the cut vegetables and cook for 1 minute.
Pack the vegetables into the jars and fill not above 1/2 inch from the top of the jar.
Ladle the hot liquid into the jars to 1/2 inch from the top of the jar.
Wipe the jar rims, place the lids on and screw on the bands until fingertip tight.
Place the jars in a water bath canner, completely covering the tops with water. Bring the water to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes.
You will be able to eat these within a few hours but the flavor improves after a few weeks.