Pickled carrots with lemon and garlic will leave you wondering why you've only been eating pickled cucumbers your whole life. They are crunchy, sour, savory and just a little bit sweet.
When I say the word "pickles," you probably think of pickled cucumbers. But cucumbers aren't the only thing that can be pickled. In fact, around the world, lots of different veggies are pickled. Pickling is when food is soaked in a vinegar brine for a period of time. The purpose is to kill bacteria and preserve the food beyond it's natural shelf life. It also happens to make food taste delicious!
So welcome to my new favorite snack: pickled carrots! I stumbled upon these tasty treats when I was looking for more ways to preserve the carrots we grew in our summer garden. Most recipes I found just said, "add your favorite spices" in with the carrots. After experimenting with several different flavor combos, I think I found the perfect one: lemon and garlic.
The natural sweetness of the carrots are the perfect flavor dichotomy to the sour lemon and vinegar. The garlic lends a savoriness to it, and a little bit of salt and sugar help balance out all the flavors. You'll find that pickled carrots are a little bit tender, but still mostly crisp to the taste.
At our house, we love to snack on these straight out of the jar. They'd also be great diced up and tossed in a salad. They would also make a fantastic addition to a charcuterie board.
Tips for Making Pickled Carrots with Lemon and Garlic
- This recipe makes only 1 qt size jar of pickled carrots, so I am not including canning instructions here. These carrots will need to be stored in the refrigerator, but will stay good for at least 3 weeks.
If you want to make a large batch of pickled carrots to store outside of your fridge, you'll need to properly can them to ensure you don't get sick later on. You can follow this guide from the National Center for Home Food Preservation to learn how to safely can pickled carrots.
- Cut the carrots into long thin sticks for ease in getting them out of the jar, and make sure they are only as tall as the jar you are using!
- Make sure to really clean your lemon well before peeling, you don't want hidden germs hiding in that peel.
- The garlic cloves may turn blue or green and that's ok! I gave a friend a jar of these pickles and was horrified to notice as I handed it to her that one of the garlic cloves had turned bright green! I was worried that it had gone moldy, but after reading this article, I learned that it was totally ok and normal. Basically, it's a result of the garlic enzymes reacting to the acidic environment of the pickle brine.
Pickled Carrots with Lemon and Garlic
- ½ pound carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch sticks
- ½ cup vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 strips of lemon peel
- Add garlic cloves to a quart size jar, followed with cut carrot sticks. To help all the carrots stand up vertically, lay the jar on its side as you pack them in. Add in the strips of lemon peel between carrot sticks.
- In a small saucepan, add water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1 minute.
- Carefully pour boiling mixture over the carrots in the quart jar, leaving about a ½ inch from the top. Close the jars with lids and let cool on the countertop for several hours, then refrigerate.
- Pickles will be ready to eat in 24 hours. Continue to store in the refrigerator.