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Friday, June 1, 2012

vietnamese style pickled carrots

Carrots
viet pickled carrots

it's june and i am so glad. i love the warm hot months of summer. tho you wouldn't be able to tell by our activities lately, the farmer's market is a favorite weekend ritual, where we can take advantage of the fresh bounty only these next months will provide. what generally happens to me, what seems to wash over me, is a kind of sweet lethargy that renders me incapable of turning on the oven or stand at the stove cooking something for too long. instead, i prefer simple salads of sorrel, purslane or watercress, washed down with juice spritzers and maybe, just maybe, some homemade frozen treat.

last week i had it in my head to try a raw food diet -- a notion that lasted less than 48 hours. sure sure, a lovely kale pesto came of it, juice smoothies with bits of spinach laced in it were consumed, but when it came down to it, going 100% raw was too hard for me. what with a move, a meatball contest looming in the horizon i could not maintain the required energy and motivation to stick to it, which is a real shame. the choices in summer's bounty, the rainbow colors of produce are kinda sorta meant to be eaten just as they were intended -- raw, natural, simply. so where i failed in going completely raw, i will endeavor to meet halfway. it's not much, but it's something, something i hope will allow me to nourish our body, satisfy our cravings while still enjoying honest food.

these pickled carrots are humble: earthy and sweet, small in stature but bold in flavor. late friday night, i sat in the kitchen amid half packed boxes (of things that weren't even kitchen related) and peeled these, then sliced them. in a jar of vinegar + water + sugar they went, along with a few thai chilies, sealed the lids and into the back of the empty refrigerator they went. i didn't touch them for five days, until now. they're perfect for snacking on, or to add to a vietnamese bánh mì for a snappy crunch, followed by a lovely sour note that goes so well with meat.

the purpose of these, other than to make use of the 5lb organic carrots i'd purchased early in the week, is to pair them with the meatballs i'm entering into the contest on saturday. that is a whole other post i'm sure. stay tuned.

for the recipe, i tweaked white on rice's version. by tweak, i really mean i looked at the ingredient list and then put everything in a jar, shook it, then fridged it. on a serious note, buy fresh, buy organic, buy local, as the farmer's market stalls grow heavy with summer goodness, make use of them all.

15 comments:

  1. I love the beribboned carrots :) I could eat them with a bowl of just boiled vermicelli.

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    1. that is such a simple meal, and super summery!

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  2. These look so lovely and I love the idea of pickling in the summer -- the process sounds so meditative and soothing. Good luck with the contest!!

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  3. Those sound good. I've made garlic and dill carrots but like the idea of the sweet, hot and sharp together.
    I followed your purslane link too, shaking beef is a must try. Maybe with arugula? I have lots coming in in my garden. Looks like an ideal summer dinner.

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    1. i tried a few yesterday while i was taking shots and the spicy kick really gave it something extra. (tho hopefully it's not too hot for the taste testers!)

      shaking beef is the kind of dish that be eaten with any leafy green, that's what's so great about it... i personally love love love love arugula (so jealous you have lots coming in your garden...) and the pepper bite of it would pair so well with the salty beef...

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  4. Lan. These pictures are killer.

    Also, way to go with the raw day or two, seriously. It's way hard to go full-on raw, so doing it for a short time is nothing to scoff at. Plus, working to incorporate more raw in your regular diet is still excellent.

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    1. Shannalee, thank you! your words of encouragement mean a lot, i have to work on not getting hung up on the "failing" and focus on the "trying".

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  5. doing this tomorrow. really, I bought too many carrots, and am trying to look for new pickle recipes anyway, so this satisfies both! fermented/pickled vegetables are really great for the digestion and health (:

    gorgeous photos btw, and the mix of typography x

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    1. shu han, i figured that fermented/pickled vegs were good for digestion & health, i remember eat it alot as a kid and somehow i grew out of it. i'm trying to incorporate it with all dinner meals now.

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  6. I'm back, finally! I find all-raw to be way too difficult, too. And it's so cold! These carrots look delicious (as does your crock pot honey soy sauce chicken from back in March. I'm logging that away for future making).

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Joanna, welcome back! and YES! the cold gets to me too, i'm not sure how i'll fare in the winter time. :)

      please do let me know how the crock pot soy sauce dish goes. it's so easy to prepare & so good!

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  7. I live in a country that does awful things with carrots, primarily boiling them until they turn into a kind of gloopy orange sludge, but other cooking-related things too, things I can't bring myself to mention in a public blog. Ugly.

    Carrots are meant to be at the least firm, and ideally crunchy. There. I said it. It may get me thrown out of England, but I DON'T CARE.

    (Nice to see your food photography is still bloody marvellous). :)

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