Jim wants to eat more vegetables in order to lose a few pounds, and to get healthy. The same goes for me, though while I like vegetables, and voluntarily eat Brussels sprouts, I have to admit that the average vegetable is a bit dull. So I am on a tear to cook more vegetables dishes, but only exciting ones! My first effort is the above Sriracha Carrot Pickle. Sriracha sauce originated in Thailand, and is hot and spicy, sweet and garlicky. It’s trendy right now, and I can see why–it adds a big exclamation point to whatever you are eating, though it’s not super hot.
Note: The original recipe came from Honey & Co., The Cookbook, an excellent book of Middle Eastern cooking by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer. Their recipe called for harissa, a spicy chili paste from North Africa. I have gotten dubious about running out and purchasing yet another exotic ingredient that I might never use up. I already had the Sriracha, so went with that and it worked perfectly. You could also try Chinese chili and garlic paste. A Tabasco-type hot sauce is thinner and hotter than Sriracha–if you use Tabasco, proceed at your own risk!
Sriracha Carrot Pickle
about 1 pound of carrots
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
Peel and slice the carrots thinly. Place them into a quart-sized glass jar. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, bay leaves and cloves and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and mix in the Sriracha. Pour the hot mixture over the carrots. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.
Notes: You can score peeled carrots lengthwise with the tip of a vegetable peeler, and then slice. The pieces look like little flowers. You can also use a sharp knife, but be careful. Make a long cut in the carrot, turn it a quarter inch away from you, and then make another long cut, aiming the knife away from you. This makes a little trough. Then slice. These carrots will taste just as good if they are left plain! Try to use the white wine vinegar, as it has a milder flavor than plain white vinegar. I used black mustard seeds–it add nice contrast and crunch. To my palate, these carrots are mildly spicy.
Here are some photos of a nuthatch, looking at the world from his own perspective!
Lastly, a sparrow, basking in the fall sunlight. Peace to you. Fran