September 26, 2009

Turnip Pickles

I plant turnips twice during the growing season: once in early spring and then again at the end of July in the area where the spinach was growing . I once read somewhere one of those folk sayings: "plant turnips the 25th of July, wet or dry" and I pretty much stick to that. I like raw turnips shredded into salads; braised with sugar, which plays nicely off the zip of the vegetable; and most of all, I look forward to making turnip pickles. These are a middle eastern pickle that are among the ones my mother makes, and are my favorite.

You peel the turnips, halve the larger ones, then slice them about 1/4 inch thick. Place them tightly in a jar, with 1/2 of a small beet, peeled, towards the bottom, and the other half towards the top. The beet will give the pickles their characteristic pink color. The photo above was taken just after the turnips were put in the jar; the color will deepen as the beet suffuses the pickling liquid with color. Make a mixture of vinegar and water in a proportion of 1 to 10; for a quart jar I use 1/4 cup white vinegar with 2 1/2 cups water. Add about 1 Tbs salt and stir till dissolved. Pour over the turnips and cover. Let the jar sit at room temperature for 3 days, then refrigerate. They'll keep for a while. I love the tang of these pickles; I guess they might come close to the taste of a tart radish. And they're so pretty.

1 comment:

  1. who knew turnips could be so beautiful. gorgeous pictures of the slices on the plate and in the jar in the window. visual poems to the turnip.