So here it is, February, and the Can Jam Challenge has thrown carrots at us this month. So the decision I faced was "sweet or pickled?" Looking into my pantry, I saw a gazillion jars of sweets, and only one jar of pickles. AND I'll be making more sweets (strawberry jam) before I'll make more pickle (cucumbers). First decision made - it was going to be pickled.
Pouring over all my recipe books, I discovered that most of the recipes for pickled carrots also had other veggies that certainly aren't in season right now, especially cauliflower and cucumbers. So what was a person to do?
Then I came across a recipe for pickled carrots and daikon radish. Hey! we're on to something here! Asiany flavor and colorful, it's just what we need. So, from Ball's Complete Book of Home Preserving,
Vietnamese Carrot and Daikon Pickle
3 C water
3 C white vinegar
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp grated gingerroot
2 lbs carrots, julienned 2 in x 1/8 in *
2 lbs daikon radish, julienned 2 in x 1/8 in
Recipe says it makes 6 pints, mine made 7 pints
In a large non-reactive pot (at least 4.5 qts, I think), combine water, vinegar, sugar, and gingerroot. Bring to a boil. Add the veggies and stir for a minute. Remove from heat.
At this point, if you want to, you can add a star anise to your jars. Very pretty, but since I'd rather lick my shoes rather than taste anything even remotely licorice-y, I left it out.
Fill hot PINT jars with veggies up to a generous 1/2 inch headspace, fill with pickle liquid up to 1/2 inch headspace, remove air bubbles, wipe rims, put lid on, screwbands on, the ususal deal.
Process in boiling water for 10 minutes, remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing from canner.
* Warning: julienning this many carrots took me almost an hour. The daikon went fast, but the carrots took forever. The book recommends using a mandoline, but after almost taking off a chunk of my thumb last year with one, I wasn't about to use it for such fine work. Also, they say that you can go up to 1/4 inch on the size of the carrots, but I think that's way too big.
It'll take 4-6 weeks for the veggies to pickle. Then I'll serve them with stir-fries and Thai food. If the pre-pickled tasting is anything to go by, these are going to be incredible!
I will post a photo when I get my new computer (which has now been pushed back to March 1. Thanks, Dell.) because you really need to see the bright, cheery color and stark contrast of the carrots and daikon.