I made two bets with JC Mersmann, the head chef at the Gathering Together Farm restaurant, and I won both of them. After I finished gloating, I asked for his tarragon pickled carrot recipe as one of my rewards. Much of what gets served in the GTF restaurant is the kind of thing that I, as a home cook, would never bother putting together. I wouldn’t call the food “fancy”, but a lot of it is fairly complicated. These tarragon pickled carrots, however, are simple…and delicious.
This recipe starts with good, fresh carrots. (Y’all already know that you should never store carrots with the greens on because they get soft in a hurry that way, right?)
I know basil, I know oregano, I know sage, but tarragon is kind of a new herb to me. It’s a strange and subtle one, but I like it, and I think it does particularly well in this pickle brine.
This recipe is intentionally loose. The exact measurements are not important, but just to give you a little sense of the proportions, I used about two farmers’ market bunches of carrots, one small bunch of tarragon, and 5 cloves of garlic. You’ll want to add salt to the brine first, and then balance out the saltiness with sugar to taste.
JC’s Tarragon Pickled Carrotsequal parts white wine vinegar and water salt to taste sugar to taste cloves of garlic, peeled carrots, peeled and cut on a bias tarragon
Bring the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and garlic to a boil. Pour enough of the hot brine over the carrots to completely cover them. Let cool and refrigerate. Pull out and discard the tarragon after 24 hours. Let the carrots sit in the brine for at least three days before serving.
These pickled carrots are not shelf stable. They should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten in a timely manner.