If you ever bumped into Peter Rabbit, he would be sure to tell you that carrots are absolutely delicious, worth risking your life for in Mr. McGregor's garden. He would probably go on to tell you they are really healthy and he would ask you if you have ever seen a rabbit wearing glasses. Well, perhaps if you were four years old, and you had a very vivid imagination...
The truth is carrots may be good for you and quite tasty at that, but they are also pretty boring and not a vegetable you normally serve your guests, well aside from a few exceptions.
These on the other hand are sweet, they are sour, they are crunchy and they have some heat. They take 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to pickle. They last in the fridge for up to a few days, probably even more, but I can't vouch for it because they have never lasted that long in our home.
So far we have had these carrots in a lentil salad, the chickpea salad above, in mixed green salads, with cheese and cured meats and even alongside roast chicken. You can use the leftover pickling liquid in a salad dressing with olive oil and perhaps a drizzle of sesame oil or you can just spoon it into your mouth like my 8-year old did last week.
Once again, I have to thank Lorraine for this brilliant tip and so should you ;o)
2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons or grated
1 or 2 tsp grated ginger
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 or 4 tbsp quick-dissolving sugar (like icing sugar)
1 tbsp water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
Mix together together the vinegar, sugar (I used a little under the 4 tablespoons indicated in the recipe) and salt until they dissolve completely. Add the water and soy sauce.
Peel the carrots into thin ribbons or grate them. Grate the ginger and mix into the carrots and then fit them into a jar about the size of a jam jar. Pour over the pickling liquid, making sure it completely covers the carrots. Close and pickle for about 10 minutes, turning the jar upside down halfway through. Use immediately or store in fridge for a few days.
Chickpea salad with feta, apples and pickled carrots
3 cups chickpeas
2 cups arugula
150gr feta cheese
handful fresh coriander, chopped
1/2 apple, sliced
pickled carrots, about half the amount above
I cooked the chickpeas, but you can just as easily use the canned variety. Rinse them well, chop up the arugula and coriander leaves, crumble in some feta cheese and add in the pickled carrots and the thinly sliced, bite-sized pieces of apple. Drizzle over some olive oil and lemon juice, mix and adjust for salt.