Rainbow Carrots and Chard

Nathan helped chop these with his plastic lettuce knife.

I love shopping for fresh and bright vegetables. It’s so much fun to treat my family to unique variations of the typical vegetables we like. For instance, the head of broccoli we got from the farmer’s market that was as big as my head! Or, in this instance, beautiful rainbow carrots and chard. So they’re a few bucks more. I don’t do it all the time so when we do it’s a real treat with the bonus of creating healthful and culinary interest in our son, “I want the baby purple ones, because that’s my favorite color.”20160704_183530_001

As much as I love seasoning cooked vegetables creatively I also really like the crunch of fresh vegetables, but don’t necessarily want to eat them in a salad or with dressing. My favorite secret for bringing crunch and nutrition to the table without adding a mess of calories? A quick pickle! The prep work is so minimal and the cook time even less. Plus, it works with ANY vegetable! 20160704_192328

You can use classics like pickles, peppers, green beans, celery, and asparagus, or create something more crunchy using carrots or radishes. Cabbage and other greens can be used of course, and I’ve even quick pickled root vegetables, like beets and turnips, with great success. Pickled mushrooms are also great and pickled garlic is to die for! Then there is always pickled ginger. But if you want to bring something ‘fancy-shmancy’ to your next dinner party try pickled rainbow carrots and chard. They are both beautiful and tasty.

The recipe below is for a basic pickle brine. If you like the classic flavor of dill pickles simply add a teaspoon (or more, to your liking) of pickling mix or several sprigs of fresh dill and some garlic cloves. If you want to add heat throw in a few fresh or dried chilies, jalapenos, or red pepper flakes. Try Thai lime, ginger, or lemongrass for something more exotic. The options are as endless as your imagination and/or desires. In fact, if you want a more Asian flair for your pickled vegetables try my Light Sesame Ginger Pickling Dressing.

Quick Pickled Rainbow Carrots and Chard

By: vduley
Serves: 4-8


  • 1 bunch of rainbow carrots; cut into large match sticks
  • 1 bunch of rainbow chard; stems cut into large match sticks
  • 1/2 T salt and 1 T sugar for pre-soak
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (or white)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 T sugar
  • 1 or 2 T soy sauce – to taste


  1. Chop the carrots and chard stems into large easy to eat match sticks. In a bowl or colander toss with 1 T salt and 2 T sugar, and let rest for 20 minutes. (When I use a softer vegetable, or something thin sliced. I don’t pre-soak it. This can make some vegetables really soft; almost as if cooked. Experiment.)
  2. In a large skillet mix together the remaining ingredients; rice vinegar, apple vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and soy. {Plus any herbs of personal preference; see above} Heat to a simmer and toss in the pre-soaked vegetables. Cover with a lid and saute over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes until gently cooked, but still crispy. (Simmer softer vegetables for just a minute or two, to avoid cooking them totally soft.)
  3. Remove from heat and either drain to serve in a dish at the table or let cool and place both the vegetables and brine in an airtight container in fridge.
  4. Use your vegetable pickles chopped in a recipe anyway you might use store bought pickles or simply eat them as a crunchy side or snack.

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