The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian recipes with a side helping of food politics

quick carrot pickle

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Last month, the UK’ Environment Agency published figures which showed that only 14% of rivers, streams and lakes in England can be designated “ecologically healthy”. The remaining 86% fail to meet standards for “pollution safety”.

The three main sources of pollution of these waterways are industrial waste, sewage and agrochemicals used in intensive farming.

The UK government had previously set a target for all water bodies in England to be rated as in “good condition” by 2027, but experts now say that promise is meaningless and unachievable.

River pollution in the UK is the worst in Europe. Brexit is highly unlikely to lead to any improvement: before it first joined the EU the UK was called “the dirty man” of Europe because of its appalling pollution levels.

The shocking state of our rivers, streams and lakes has been exacerbated by government cuts to the Environment Agency’s monitoring workforce, which has taken our waterways to the verge of regulatory collapse.

But the fundamental problem is the polluters themselves.

The body which represents UK water companies, Water UK, has said most of the pollution is caused by farming. Excess fertiliser applied to farmland simply runs off into our waterways.

These agrochemicals are causing catastrophic long-term damage to the ecosystems of British waterways. Just imagine what long-term harm we may be doing to our bodies each time we consume food that has been produced with their use.

This recipe, in which I’ve used home grown organic carrots, could not be easier and produces a quick but delicious pickle that can be used in sandwiches, on burgers or as an accompaniment to a variety of dishes.

quick carrot pickle

100 g organic carrots
150 ml cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp black pepper corns
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano

1. Peel the carrots then cut into very thin slices using a mandolin, sharp knife or vegetable peeler.

2. Whisk the sea salt into the cider vinegar until dissolved, then stir in the maple syrup, black pepper corns, black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, bay leaf, dried thyme and dried oregano.

3. Place the peeled carrots in a bowl and pour the vinegar and spice mixture over them, ensuring they are covered. Leave to marinate for as long as possible, preferably a minimum of 24 hours to allow the flavour to develop. You can place the pickled carrots in a sterile jar or other container with the marinade and keep in the fridge until needed. Stored this way, the pickle will last for 3-4 weeks.

Categories: dairy free, gluten free, raw, vegan, vegetarian

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13 replies

  1. Sad news about your waterways, but the recipe looks great.

  2. Congratulations on your medal! Although I may have missed it before.
    Carrot pickle sounds delicious
    Mair Reed ( Charlotte’s mum)

  3. The pickles look amazing, and so does the beautiful medal!

  4. A most interesting recipe for a carrot pickle . . . this one will definitely be tried ! Glad to have another idea for maple syrup which perchance is not used enough Down Under. Most unfortunate about the condition of your waterways . . . in this big land of ours we have patches of industrial waste flowing into the rivers and sewage flowing too close to beaches in use as far as the ocean is concerned . . . difficult to solve . . .wherever . . .

    • Hi Eha. Part of the solution is to switch to sustainable forms of agriculture where we would not have to pump chemicals into dying soil. Thank you for the kind comments about the recipe. Steve x

  5. Will this WORK and taste good without the maple syrup?

  6. This recipe looks delicious! I’ve been wanting to explore the different options when it comes to pickling. I can’t wait to try. Thank you for sharing!

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