crispy pickled lavender carrots

I first ate these at my friend, Bethany's, home in Oregon this summer. She made me cover my eyes and do a "blind tasting" before I could see what I was eating. The only description she gave me was, "They taste like nothing you have ever tasted before!" Needless to say, I thought I was going to eat a spider or, even worse, a beet. ;) But she was right! It really isn't a flavor I can describe—so you'll just have to take my word for it and try them!

Plus, aren't they pretty?

Crispy Pickled Lavender Carrots

Makes 1 pint (8 to 10 servings)

Bright, crispy orange carrots make a healthy appetizer or a great addition to any meal. Keep them in the refrigerator for a quick snack.

1 pound carrots

4 fresh lavender sprigs with blossoms, each about 4 inches long (or 1/2 teaspoon dry culinary lavender buds)*

3/4 cup rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar**

1/2 cup granulated sugar***

1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)


Peel carrots and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick sticks that fit vertically in a clean 1-pint glass jar, coming to about 3/4 inch below the rim.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Add carrots and cook uncovered until they are barely tender when pierced, about 5 to 7 minutes; drain.

Lay jar on its side and pack carrots in loosely so that they will be standing upright in the jar; tuck fresh lavender sprigs between carrots. (If you are using lavender buds, sprinkle the buds over the carrots.)

In a 1- to 1 1/2-quart pan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt, if using. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Pour hot liquid over vegetables to cover. Reserve extra liquid.

Cover jar with lid and shake jar to release any trapped bubbles.

Chill until the next day, then check jar and add reserved marinade, if needed, to cover carrots.

Chill in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks, turning jar occasionally. Enjoy!

*I didn't have any fresh lavender so I used dried lavender and put in about twice the amount. You could also try lavender oil concentrate if you don't have a lavender bush handy.

**I only had about 1/2 the vinegar but it turned out just fine! Using white wine vinegar over rice wine vinegar will be easier on your wallet.
***I used Agave Nectar instead of sugar. Next time I would use at least 1/2 the sweetener as it seemed a bit too sweet.

Adapted from "Discover Cooking With Lavender" by Kathy Gehrt

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