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April, 2014, Page 56
Used commonly in a mash of root vegetables, the lowly turnip rarely gets a chance to look pretty and taste delicious on its own. Our recipe for pickled turnips turns this root vegetable into a delicious side for sandwiches, burgers or wraps. You will love these turnip pickles for their crisp crunch, bold color and slightly spicy flavor.
Growing turnips is a snap. They develop fairly quickly, maturing in about two months. In our mild Valley climate, gardeners can go through the growing process—planting the seeds and harvesting the turnips—twice during the winter season.
If purchasing from your grocery store, look for turnips that are blemish-free, with creamy looking bulbs and a violet-hued ring around the top. They also should be heavy for their size.
If purchasing from a local farmers’ market, scout for turnips with the greens attached, but remove them before storing the root. Use the leafy bits as you would any other. For example, try adding them to your morning green drink. They also are delicious sautéed or steamed.
Generally yields 3 pint jars
3 cups water
1/3 cup coarse white salt, such as kosher or sea salt
3 bay leaves
1 cup distilled white vinegar
4 turnips (about 1½ pounds), peeled and trimmed
2 small beets, trimmed, peeled and cut into quarters
2 small red chile peppers, halved, with seeds
6 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
3 wide-mouth glass pint jars
Photo by Garrett Cook
about one-third of the water in a saucepan. Add the salt and bay leaves, stirring until the salt is dissolved.
from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add vinegar and remaining water.
the turnips into half-inch batons (like French fries).
the turnip pieces in each jar so that they are snug; then add 2 to 3 pieces of beet, half a chile with seeds (use 2 halves for added spice) and 1 or 2 cloves of whole garlic.
the salted brine over the turnip pieces. Discard any remaining brine.
that each jar contains a bay leaf from the brine solution. Leave half an inch at the top of the jars for expansion.
the lids tightly and let sit at room temperature in a relatively cool place for one week. Pickles can be refrigerated until ready to serve; they will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Sydney Dye is a home gardener, chef and owner of First Fig Culinary Adventures in Scottsdale.
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