Support your local growers!
Saturday morning is my time to visit one of the many weekend markets in Perth. I like to arrive early when the market is not too crowded so I can lose myself in the labyrinth of stalls with seasonal fruits and vegetables. Perth has so many of these markets which are scattered all over the city.
Quite frankly, the vegetables and fruits grown by the local farmers in Western Australia are fresher because the chances are that they have been picked a few days ago. It is a fun day for me because I get to talk to the farmers, find a variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than in the Supermarkets and some how I feel that I am supporting the local farmers. It is a hard life for a farmer in Western Australia and Australia in general. To run a profitable farm takes a very long time so why don’t we all give them a helping hand. My motto has always been, buy local, seasonal and support your community.
Last Saturday I filled my bag with a variety of sweet and small orange and purple carrots. They looked beautiful. I decided to pickle them so I can use them for my Christmas lunch.
It is summer in Australia, it is warm and I like to embrace the weather. My carrots will go well with any fish, meat or sea food dish cooked on the BBQ. They are just perfect to eat al fresco.
- 1 big bunch of baby orange carrots
- 1 big bunch of baby purple carrots
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoons of salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon of a mixture of pepper corns
- 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 garlic cloves cut in half
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 3 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Start by blanching the carrots. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the carrots. Starting with the yellow carrots and then the purple carrots. (if you boil the purple ones first the water will be purple and will change the colour of the orange carrots). Then drain the carrots in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop them cooking.
- Once they are cold, cut them in half following the shape of the carrot.
3. In a large pot, mix together water, vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and mixed peppercorns. Bring all these ingredients to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for another 2 minutes. Set aside and let it cool.
4. Taste the brine, if you like your pickled carrots more sweet add more sugar.
5. Arrange the carrots in a clean and sterile jar and pack the jar with the carrots.
6. Then arrange the herbs and garlic on top.
7. Pour the pickling liquid over the carrots. Make sure to cover the carrots with the vinegar mixture.
8. Tap the jars to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate for about a week so that the carrots absorb all the flavours.
- These pickles will enhance any meal. The carrots are fresh, salty, sweet and crunchy.
- Think of the carrots’ colour as cosmic purples, and solar yellow, the perfect colours to serve as a summer side dish.
- When making the brine you can add more salt, less vinegar. Adjust the brine to your taste.