Vietnamese Carrot and Parsnip Pickles

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.

8 Responses to Vietnamese Carrot and Parsnip Pickles

  1. Pingback: Can Jam #2: “Carrot” – (2) Carrot Cake Jam « Family & Food

  2. Well done! I am so jealous you still have homegrown carrots. Mine are long gone!!!! Anyway, I made 2 carrot jams for the challenge because I don’t really like pickles that much, but your recipe looks interesting.

  3. Those pickled carrots are sure pretty to look at!

  4. ap269 – I did NOT have enough carrots last summer so I was sure to plant too many for the fall and winter. I was thinking about making carrot jam but since I make all of our food I decided to go with something I knew we would actually eat. We are swimming in jam over here from the summer and then marmalade from last month. It’s nice but a lot of sugar!

    Thanks KFG – super easy to make. They are basically carrot sticks in a sweet/sour brine. If I had dried peppers or anise this would have made a beautiful gift jar but I was madly trying to get it in before 20 people arrived yesterday to sort seeds. Functional is just fine sometimes. :)

  5. These are beautiful! I love that you did big sticks. I just finished my carrot entry–did the same thing but completely different. Love how such a simple recipe can change with just a subtle tweak.
    And I love parsnips. Except I’m scared to grow them. Seems like they take so long. Should I buck up and just do it?

  6. Julia – don’t fear the parsnip. Maybe just plant them in the summer so they can overwinter? I planted mine late – early August. I should have planted them end of June along with the rest of my winter veg. As a result everything is just now ready since things stop growing in the winter but the temps have warmed up here now so they are suddenly ready. So instead of planting a winter garden I have a spring garden. Which is great right now. I just stunk having to hit the farmer’s market from mid December to end of January.

  7. Hmmm. Maybe this year will be the year of the parsnip for me. I do love them. Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Parsnips are only edible after wintering in the ground under a lot of snow and intense cold. Here in Northwestern Montana I grow parsnips that increase in size by about three times over the winter. By the time I scrape the snow and ice off the patch they have already begun to sprout new tops (the old ones freeze off completely). I just dug them up and they are great. I plant them in the spring – usually during April.

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