Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pickled Turnips

I love pickles.  It runs in the family. My father and I are both pickle fiends and are known to bring home intriguing jars of pickles from far-off places, or just the grocery store. My mother just sighs and makes room in the refrigerator. Pickled okra, green tomatoes, kimchi; we are always interested in a new pickle. Our most interesting current find has been jalapeno bread and butter pickles - the jalapeno moderates the sweetness.

Pickles add zing to otherwise boring recipes, they cleanse the palate with a refreshing burst of tartness and they are wonderful, if a bit drippy, to snack on.

There's a local Turkish restaurant that I love, Istanbul Grill & Deli, and the plates always have a garnish of hot pink pickle. I never knew what it was (other than delicious) until I stumbled on David Lebovitz' wonderful cooking blog.

Two pounds of turnips, and one beet

Those beautiful, crisp pickles are turnips!  And the recipe is amazingly easy.  So if you want a crisp, garlicky pickle, something to counteract all the traditional sweet, heavy, holiday fare we get this time of year. I recommend these highly.  Plus, they are an amazing shade of pink. How festive can you get?

Pickled Turnips - recipe from David Lebovitz

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup coarse white salt, such as kosher or sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white vinegar (distilled)
  • 2 pounds turnips
  • 1 small beet
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

1. In  a saucepan, heat about 1/3 of the water. Add the salt and bay leaf, stirring until the salt is dissolved.

Dissolving the salt
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the vinegar and the rest of the water.

3. Cut the turnips and the beet into batons, about the size of French fries. Put the turnips, beets, and garlic slices into a large, clean jar, then pour the salted brine over them in the jar, including the bay leaf.
The beet is in the middle, under the bay leaves
4. Cover and let sit at room temperature, in a relatively cool place, for one week. Once done, they can be refrigerated until ready to serve.
Pink! Really the camera does not do the color justice, they are more vivid than they look here
Storage: The pickles will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. They should be enjoyed within six weeks after they’re made.

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