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May 16 / JW

Some Pickles: Purple Carrots and Asparagus


So, I’ve been reading all about pickling/preserving lately, partly due to my River Cottage Preserves book, and the discovery of Food in Jars, an awesome blog about, well, you guessed it, food in jars. Anyway, I don’t have the proper equipment to really seriously can anything, but I thought I would pickle some stuff to see the result since they will keep well in the fridge.

Why purple carrots? Well because they are everywhere at the shops right now, and I’m always buying them because they are so interesting but I’ve already roasted them, made a soup, etc so I needed a new idea… Pickling, perfect!

SO, for the carrots I’m using these spices:

They are: mustard seed, coriander seed, star anise, peppercorns, hot pepper flakes, whole cloves and bay leaves. Use equal amounts of water and vinegar( I used cider vinegar) and about half as much sugar( so 1 1/2 cups water & vinegar, 3/4 cup of sugar). Also add pickling salt or kosher salt. Heat the liquid to boiling and add the spices, then add carrots for a few seconds.

As you can see, I mixed some regular carrots in there too. Carefully add the carrots to your jar(s) and add the liquid. Screw on the lid and let cool before placing in the fridge. Let them hang out for 2-3 days before testing them out.

For the asparagus, I went more on the plain side. I used coriander seed and bay leaf, along with white balsamic vinegar instead of cider vinegar. It’s also a slightly smaller jar, so I used 1/2 Cup of vinegar, water and a 1/4 cup of sugar. Also I didn’t add the asparagus to the cooking liquid since they cook so quickly anyway, I just added the cooking liquid to the jar.

They both turned out good, and I definitely suggest giving this a try if you find yourself with some extra veggies, or if you just love pickles!


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  1. Lee / Jul 18 2011

    Hi there, those look beautiful, I was also thinking about pickling purple carrots and was wondering if they would bleed – those that are only purple on the outside do so for sure. I see you are using carrots that are all purple. Did the color bleed into the liquid? Kind of looks like it in the picture, but I am not sure

    Thanks Lee

    • JW / Jul 19 2011

      Hi Lee! Yes unfortunately they did bleed. They are still pretty, but if there is a way around the bleeding I would love to know! Thanks for your question:)

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