Edit ModuleShow Tags

FreshTartSteph Recipe: Pickled Carrots


Published:

Food obsessions. I have them. You might know this since I tend to write about them. The latest is all things pickled, particularly non-cucumber things like beets, cauliflower, and my current holy grail: Carrots. What is it about pickled carrots? It started when I wrote about Corner Table's CSK box, which included a jar of pickled carrots that didn't make it into the photograph, because I ate the entire jar, all at once.

The obsession grew on a recent visit to the 128 Cafe Mobile Cafe (food truck!) with my friend Joy Summers for some of the best lunch eats in town. Joy and I share an enthusiasm that probably borders on stalkerish for Chef Ian Pierce's famous ribs and all-round fantastic food. The day we mobbed the truck Ian was serving tender beef skewers with a spicy cashew sauce, topped with...pickled carrots. Joy had ordered the skewers, which made the carrots hers, and while I stingily forgot to share my ribs with her, she graciously let me attack the carrots. We of course fell into a discussion about what makes a great pickled carrot.

In fact, Joy had just made a batch herself, deciding the recipe needed a bit of tweaking to achieve what we concluded should be the perfect balance of sweet to sour, crispness without being hard as rocks, with a refreshing but not overpowering bite of ginger.

Yeah, we spent our lunch talking about pickled carrots.

And when we were done eating, we raided the truck and peppered Ian with questions about how he makes The Carrots. The secret, we discovered, is brown sugar. Yes! I love discovering secrets. In fact, Ian shared his whole process, outlined below. The pickles are quick and easy to make, ready-to-eat upon cooling, or to keep in the refrigerator for a week or so. If they stick around for that long.

Pickled carrots are fantastic to eat as is, but are particularly delicious atop rich, savory dishes. My family inhaled them over the weekend as the perfect, crunchy foil for a Moroccan braised chicken with basmati rice. There is no better topping for a bratwurst. (Brat blasphemy? Perhaps.) Toss into salads and coleslaw. They basically make everything taste better.

I cut them into two shapes—coins for snacking, matchstick for garnish. Both are gone.

To check them out in person, do not miss the Food Truck Court in downtown St. Paul every Wednesday, at the intersection of Kellogg and Wabasha. Five trucks line up along the stunning riverfront, all of downtown St. Paul comes out to play in the sun, and the trucks crank out food as fast as they possibly can. Jill Wilson of 128 Cafe worked with the city to pull the court together and it is a hit!
 

Photo by Stephanie Meyer

Pickled Carrots

Based on a conversation with Chef Ian Pierce, 128 Cafe and Joy Summers

2 1/2 c. rice wine vinegar
2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced ginger
pinch red pepper flakes
cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. coriander seeds
3 white peppercorns
1 large bunch carrots, peeled, trimmed, sliced how you like (coins, matchstick, everything in between)

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, stir together vinegar, brown sugar, salt, ginger, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon stick. While the mixture heats, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns until fragrant (do not burn). Add to the liquid.

When the liquid simmers, stir in the carrots. Turn heat to low and cook gently, testing often, until carrots are just a bit softened but are still quite crisp, anywhere from 5-10 minutes or more (depending on carrot freshness, size of cut, etc.). Transfer carrots to a jar or bowl, cover in liquid, and let cool. Cover and chill to store.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Grilled Walleye Tacos with Mango Salsa Recipe

Combine fresh Minnesota fish with a taste of the tropics in a quick-and-easy meal you can make at home or the cabin

Pizza Lovers' Camp for Grown-Ups

Overnight pizza-centric camp on July 7 combines pizza amore with classic outdoor camp activities

3 Things to Eat This Week: Pride Edition

Pride weekend is also one of your last chances to eat at wonderful restaurants before they close

Ask Jason: Best Ramen, Shrimp, Dinner Date, and More

Your food questions answered

Stout-Marinated Grilled Tri-Tip Recipe

Treat dad or any lucky guest to flavorful, juicy beef with a splash of beer in the mix with this recipe from meat expert Bruce Aidells

6 Foods to Pack for the Cabin

Don't head north to the cabin without these delicious necessities

The Driscoll’s Difference

Driscoll’s goes to great lengths to ensure every clamshell on the shelves is packed with only the most flavorful, deliciously ripe berries.

Meet the Joy Makers

Meet the Joy Makers

Back to School Prep! Bento boxes are Easy Breakfasts that can be Prepped Ahead

The strategy for conquering the crazy weekday mornings is the all important prep.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags