Sugar Snap, Carrot, and Radish Refrigerator Pickles

Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry

If you don’t have sugar snaps, the carrots and radishes are great partners à deux, but the peas add a nice texture and make a Palm Beach (Lily Pulitzer) color combination. Choose bright radishes; the vinegar will pull their color and make everything in the jar blush.

The carrots are vital to this recipe. Find tiny slim carrots the size of a little finger, newly pulled from the ground; their flavor is sweet and intense. They need only a good scrubbing and they are ready for anything. At my farmers’ market, vendors sell “thinnings” from their planted rows: small bunches precisely the right size for this recipe. The orange, pale yellow, and deep rusty red tones are so pretty—at the first glimpse of them, I had to stop time, capture the moment, and pickle them. Be certain about one thing: these carrots are in no way the same thing as the sad carved “baby” carrots at the grocery store, which are not babies at all, but carved from mature carrots.

  • 8 to 12 bright red radishes
  • 12 to 16 slim young carrots
  • 24 very fresh sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 cup (8 oz., 235 g) white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (8 oz., 235 g) nonchlorinated water
  • 1/4 cup (1.25 oz., 34 g) kosher or pickling salt
  • 1/4 cup (3 oz., 85 g) honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 teaspoons dill seeds
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1. Scrub the radishes and, depending on size, keep whole, quarter, halve, or slice thin.

2. Scrub the carrots and peel if necessary. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, then cool in a bowl of ice water. Stand the carrots in the jars. If they are too tall, julienne or slice them decoratively and return to the jars. Add the peas and radishes. Make ’em pretty.

3. Bring the vinegar, water, salt, honey, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan. Divide the dill and celery seeds and red pepper flakes between the two jars and pour the hot brine into the jars. Let cool, then cap and leave on the counter overnight to brine.

4. Refrigerate the pickles and eat within a week.

[More: Cathy Barrow on pickling]

Yield: 
Makes 2 tall 24-ounce or 12-ounce jars, depending on the length of the carrots

Top Recipes

David Leite opens up about family and food

From shame to celebration, food writer David Leite discusses the many roles food has played in his life, and how that has affected his relationship with his family and partner of 24 years.