Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Turnip pickles



500g White-mauve turnips, unpeeled, both ends trimmed
20g beetroot, peeled and cut into 3 pieces
1-2 chilies (optional)
1 ½ tbsp sea salt
150ml organic cider vinegar
extra virgin olive oil, to cover the turnips (optional)

Make cuts along the length of turnips at 5mm (1/4 in) intervals bit leave them whole. Pack the turnips, beetroot and chilies if using into a sterilized glass jar. Bring 400ml water to the boil, add the salt and dissolve completely. Cool, stir in the vinegar, and pour over the vegetables in the jar to cover completely. If desired, add a thin film of olive oil to prevent them spoiling. Seal and keep in a dark kitchen cupboard. Eat after 10-14 days.
From New Flavours of the Lebanese Table .

I used to be able to get these when I lived in Brooklyn. They sold them in the Middle Eastern grocery shops out of huge plastic buckets. They would scoop them out by the spoonful into little plastic containers, much to my excitement, and my husband’s revulsion.

When I found a recipe to reproduce them, I was thrilled, and he promised to try them one more time.

I made one big mistake while I was preparing these. I cooled the liquid a bit too much, and used a hot freshly sterilized jar. The jar was still hot enough to crack instantly when it came in contact with the very cool liquid. Oops. More of a science issue then a recipe issue. For the next jar, I waited for the glass to cool down a bit, and it all went fine.

The turnips that I was able to get hold of were far too big to be pickled whole, they would not have fit in the jars, so I cut mine into large chunks, about the size of tiny little turnips.

The photo was taken the instant that I poured the liquid over the vegetables. It was really cool, the color immediately started to bleed from the beets, and within minutes it was purple all the way through.

Other then the broken glass (not the recipes fault), this worked beautifully. I love them, and will make them over and over again. My husband even warmed to them, a little.

I thought I would enter these into a blog challenge. It’s a celebration of Middle Eastern food, for more information on it check here:Announcement.
And also here: Dhivya's blog.

These are easy to make, they are traditional, they go with anything you are eating, and they are super tasty.

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