carrot pickles

From the Saturday farmers market shopping spree we ended up with almost two pounds of beautiful tiny carrots, so I took advantage of the canning pot that was still bubbling after I finished dandelion jelly and blackberry jam to make carrot pickles.
As I have never been to San Francisco, I may be the only person who hasn’t eaten and waxed about Tartine Bakery’s spicy carrot pickles.  I’ll be okay, though. Two of my favorite canning books and many bloggers have jumped to the rescue to offer many variations on the recipe. This blog has reproduced the Liana Krissoff version I used.
I reduced the amount of cinnamon to one stick because the carrots and cider vinegar already impart a certain amount of natural sweetness, and I’m not fond of overly sweet foods. In one jar I also omitted the dried peppers and all but the tiniest pinch of red pepper flakes for H since she’s not a fan of heat. The rest of us will eat the other jars, which are fully loaded.
We sampled the few carrots that didn’t fit into the jars when I packed them, and even without the spices they were already delicious. The brine lends itself to their sweetness, and they became tender-crisp and bright after their quick simmer. The tiniest carrots were left whole, so they retained more carrot flavor. J pronounced them the best pickle recipe we’ve ever had, usurping the okra and cumin squash. I’m excited to crack them open in the fall to see how they are when the brine has mellowed and the carrots have picked up some spiciness.
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