ORANGE-GINGER PICKLED BABY CARROTS (2 quarts)
2 pounds baby carrots with tops, peeled and trimmed, leaving ½ inch of stems intact; or 2 pounds medium carrots, peeled and cut into roughly 3 by ½ inch sticks
2 cups white wine vinegar
five 3 inch strips orange zest
2 cups fresh orange juice
five 1 to 2 inch dried hot red chiles
one 2 inch piece peeled ginger, cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices
1 cup sugar
1. Blanch carrots in a nonreactive 4 to 5 quart heavy pot of salted boiling water, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Transfer carrots to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain in a colander and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
2. Bring vinegar, orange zest and juice, dried chiles, ginger, sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in the same pot, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour over carrots and cool, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
3. Chill carrots in pickling liquid in an airtight container, shaking container occasionally at least one day.
NOTE: Pickled carrots keep, chilled, 1 month (flavor will deepen over time).