Pickled Carrots, Asparagus, Green Beans, or Okra

Pickled Carrots, Asparagus, Green Beans, or Okra

(makes 10 servings)

1 pound (480 g) baby carrots, peeled
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) dried dill weed
1 teaspoon (5 ml) mustard seed
Pickling Solution:
3/4 cup (180 ml) cider vinegar
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) pickling spices
12 whole black peppercorns

  1. Trim carrots so they fit vertically 3/4-inch (2 cm) below the rim of a wide-mouth pint glass jar.
  2. In a large skillet, cook carrots in water to cover until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Loosely pack carrots vertically into a sterilized wide-mouth point glass jar along with dill weed and mustard seed.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring pickling solution ingredients to a boil. Pour hot liquid over carrots to cover. Reserve any extra liquid.
  5. Cover and refrigerate. If needed, add reserved liquid after carrots are chilled to keep carrots covered with liquid. Use within 1 week.

Per serving: 28 calories (<1% calories from fat), 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fat (0 saturated fat), 1 g dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 16 mg sodium
Diabetic exchanges: free

Pickled Asparagus: follow the recipe for Pickled Carrots, using 1 1/2 pounds (720 g) pencil-thin asparagus, tough ends timed, in place of the carrots. Cook in boiling water until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, immerse in ice water, then drain again. Pack asparagus vertically into jar along with 4 fresh tarragon sprigs in place of the dill and mustard seed. Fill jar with hot pickling solution. Refrigerate; use within 1 week. Makes 10 servings. Per serving: 24 calories, 4 g carbohydrate. Exchanges, free.

Pickled Green Beans: Follow the recipe for Pickled Carrots, suing 3/4 pound (360 g) small green beans, ends trimmed, in place of carrots. Cook beans in boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, immerse in water, and drain again. Pack beans vertically in sterilized jar along with 2 small dried red chile peppers and 1 teaspoon 95 ml) cumin seed in place of the dill and mustard seed. Fill jar with hot pickling solution. Refrigerate; use within 1 week. Makes 10 serving. Per serving: 13 calories, 4 g carbohydrate. Exchanges: free

Pickled Okra: Follow the recipe for Pickled Carrots, using 3/4 pound (360 g) fresh okra, about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long, instead of the carrots. Trim stems, taking care not to cut into the okra itself. Place 1 peeled garlic clove, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) dill seed, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) celery seed, 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) mustard seed, and 1 small dried red chile pepper in the sterilized jar instead of the dill weed and mustard seed. Pack okra vertically in jar, stem end up. Fill jar with hot pickling solution. Refrigerate; use within 1 week. Makes 10 servings. Per serving: 13 calories, 4 g carbohydrate. Exchanges: free

You can also make Vinegars with your harvest–the first is one we like to use on fruit salads, leafy greens, or for marinating chicken before grilled. It makes use of ripe apricots or peaches. The vinegar is pretty, lightly scented, ad naturally sweet. The second is a herb vinegar: fresh rosemary (our favorite herb).

Apricot or Peach Vinegar: Sterilize two quart (60 ml) glass canning jars with lids. Peel, pit, and coarsely chop 1 1/2 pounds (720 g) of fresh ripe apricots or peaches. Divide the fruit between the two jars. Add a 3-inch (7.5 cm) cinnamon stick that has been broken into 3 pieces to each jar. Fill each jar with about 1 1/2 cup (720 ml) white wine vinegar, making sure the fruit is covered by the vinegar. Run a narrow spatula between the fruit and the jar to remove any air bubbles. Cover and refrigerate for 2 weeks.

Sterilize two 12-fluid ounce (360 ml) decorative vinegar bottles with lid. Strain the vinegar mixture through a fine sieve, then through a coffee filter, discarding the solids. Pour the strained vinegar into the two prepared bottles. Seal and store at room temperature. Use within 2 months. Once opened, refrigerate. Exchanges: free

Lemon Rosemary Vinegar: Sterilize two 12-fluid ounce (360 ml) decorative vinegar bottles with lid. Place 2 fresh rosemary sprigs and 2 long strips of lemon zest in each bottle.

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups (720 ml) red wine vinegar to a boil. Using a funnel, pour hot vinegar into bottles, dividing equally. Seal and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks to develop flavors before using. Use within 6 months. Once open, refrigerate.

Note: Don’t try to make this vinegar with cloves of garlic. Home preparation does not sufficiently process raw garlic so that it and the vinegar stay fresh.