September 7, 2011 by Sara Kreidler
“Dill carrot pickles? Will you turn anything you can get your hands on into a dill pickle?” you ask. Yes and yes. But my dill pickle addiction aside, dilly carrots are really great on salads and sandwiches. My favorite bar puts assorted refrigerator pickles made of thinly sliced zucchini, carrot, radish and cauliflower on their bahn mi sandwich (so good) and their pacific Asian soba noodle salad (which I recreated here). I plan on making at-home versions of both dishes throughout the winter, and these dilly carrots will come in handy.
Yields approximately 5 pints
- 4 cups of cider vinegar (5% acidity)
- 4 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 5 teaspoons dill seed
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 5-10 whole dried chiles (such as chiles de arbol)
- 5 teaspoons crushed red chile flakes (optional)
- 5 pounds carrots
- Wash the jars in the dishwasher.
- While the jars are washing, peel and rinse the carrots. Cut off the ends, then slice the carrots on the diagonal into thin, long rounds (ovals, really). Put carrot slices in a large bowl and set aside.
- Also, while the jars are washing, prep your canning area. I like to put down old (clean) kitchen towels and hot pads so I don’t have to worry about scorching the counter. Get your jar lifter, lid wand, ladle, rings, lids, and wide mouth funnel ready. I use a chopstick to remove air bubbles, but you can also use a small plastic spatula or plastic spoon (just don’t use a metal utensil, which can scratch and/or crack your jars).
- Remove hot jars from dishwasher, place inside canner and fill the canner with hot water so that all of the jars are full and covered by 1 inch of water. Put the canner on your largest burner and bring the water to a boil.
- Bring a small pot of water to a simmer. Add the lids to the simmering water; do not boil the lids.
- Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Stir to make sure the salt has dissolved.
- Remove the pots of simmering lids and brine from the stove and place on hot pads near your jar filling station. Place the bowl of sliced carrots near your filling station. Have the canning tools listed in step 3 handy.
- Remove 1 jar from the canning pot and dump out the water. Add to each empty pint jar 1 teaspoon of dill seed, 1 clove of garlic, 1 or 2 dried chiles, and 1 teaspoon of chile flakes (the amount of chiles you use is up to you – I like my dilly carrots spicy so I tend to go heavy on the peppers). Pack the carrot slices in the jars. Place the jar on the counter, place the funnel on top of the jar and ladle in the hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top of the jar (the bottom line of the screw marks on the jar is a good guideline for ½ inch of headspace). Take the funnel off of the jar and use a chopstick to remove the air bubbles; add more brine if needed to maintain ½ inch of headspace after the jar is de-bubbled. Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel. Use the lid wand to remove 1 lid from the pot and place it on top of the jar. Screw the ring onto the jar until it is finger-tip tight (you don’t want it to be too tight or the air won’t be able to escape during processing). Repeat with each jar until all of the jars are full.
- Return the jars to the boiling water in the canner. The water should cover the jars by at least 1 inch. Place the lid on the canner and process at a full boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel on the counter. Do not disturb the jars while they cool.
- Label the sealed jars and store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. If any of the lids fail to seal, the unsealed jars should be refrigerated because they are not shelf stable.
- Krissoff’s recipe calls for using fresh dill instead of dill seeds. In the first batch of processed dilly beans I made (and in all of the refrigerator dilly beans I have made), I used fresh dill. But then I read on Food in Jars that fresh dill can break down and become slimy and gunky after a while in the jar, and that’s why lots of people use dill seed instead. I’ve now switched over to dill seed, and I don’t notice any compromise in the dilly flavor of these pickles. That said, if you’d rather use fresh dill, you can add about 1 sprig per jar in place of the dill seed.
- It is important to wait until the water in the canner is at a full boil before you return the filled jars to the canner for processing. If it’s not at a full boil when you add the jars, you will have to wait until it reached a full boil before the 10 minute processing timer starts, and the extra time in the hot water at the front end of the processing will result in less crisp dilly carrots.