When I think about carrots, I just think sweet. I rough up that sweetness with spices, or roast it out into toasty darkness. But here's a way to push carrots into a whole new zone: ferment them with ginger or its pungent cousin, galangal, in this incredibly simple yet delightful recipe from Hugh Acheson's new book.
This is a fermented pickle — not brined, but quickly fermented over just a few days. If you've been interested in trying fermented pickles, this is a great starting point — just a handful of ingredients and a simple process. Acheson says, "It should be done in about five days, but the longer it goes, the more pronounced the flavor will be. The fermentation softens and adds salinity to the sweet carrots and gives them a really nice lactic charm."
This style of pickling relies on fermentation rather than a vinegar brine, but it's just as easy to do. If you don't have any fine-textured pickling salt on hand, you can substitute sea salt that doesn't have any additives or anti-caking ingredients. (I used one tablespoon of Diamond Crystal salt since it's a coarser-grained salt that normal pickling salt.)
- Christine, June 2015
Hugh Acheson's Fermented Carrots with Galangal and Lime
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon peeled and thinly sliced galangal or fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated lime zest (absolutely no white pith)
2 teaspoons pickling salt
Pack the carrots, galangal, and lime zest in a 1-quart mason jar (or 2 pint jars), leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top, and set aside.
Combine the pickling salt and 2 cups of water in a nonreactive saucepan and heat to dissolve. Cool to room temperature.
Ladle the liquid into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace and completely covering the carrots. Cover the top of the jar with a square of cheesecloth and secure it with the jar’s band. Place the jar in a dark spot that hovers between 65°F and 75°F, and leave it for 5 days, checking daily to remove any white mold that accumulates on top.
Remove the cheesecloth, cap the jar with the regular lid, and place in the fridge. Use it within a week.
→ Check out Hugh's book! The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson
Reprinted with permission from The Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson, copyright © 2015. Published by Clarkson Potter.