Pickling Fool

Having arrived early (not surprising to anyone who has read this blog for any length of time) at a Mediterranean restaurant a few months ago, I searched the menu for something small that wasn’t too caloric. I was so hungry, but didn’t want to spoil my dinner appetite. That is when I saw something that I’d never encountered before: pickled turnips.

A small dish arrived with the small, hot pink morsels. I was intrigued. When I bit into one, I was astonished at how good it was. Salty, vinegary, and a crisp bite. Normally I am a sweet pickle person, and I loved these enough to want to make them.

After all the steps involved with pickling watermelon rinds, I was surprised at the simplicity of these. Thank you, Google, for giving me instant access to tons of recipes, all of which were essentially the same.

Pickled Beets Ingredients

With just a handful of ingredients, and simple directions, this was a great experiment.

First up is dissolving the salt in hot water and then letting it return to room temperature. Next, cut the turnips and beet into little sticks.

Turnips and Beets

Then combine the salt water with the vinegar and pour over the beets and turnips and add a bay leaf.

Pickled Beets Before

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting the 2-3 weeks for it to do its pickling magic. Finally, the end result.

Finished Pickled Turnips

They turned out perfectly delicious! About a month after my experiment, I was at another Mediterranean restaurant, so I had to order their pickled beets. They were just like the ones I’d made. I was so impressed by my talents!

“What do you eat these with?” you might ask. I love having them as a side when I make falafels. I also started researching random Middle Eastern eggplant recipes as yet another excuse to eat these wonderful treats. But what triggered me to post about pickled turnips now is we ate them two days ago as a beautiful side dish to complement lamb kofta and saffron rice.

When was the last time you tried to make something you first encountered at a restaurant? or What is your vote – Pickles: Sweet or Savory?

10 thoughts on “Pickling Fool”

  1. YOU are a brave soul. If I’d seen pickled turnips, I’d have turned my nose. But you not only eat them, you figure out how to make them. Of course, I’m impressed too! And the lamb and saffron rice would invite me in – oh but then, wait – you also make falafel. Why of course. You go, girl!

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    1. Hello, fellow fan of Mediterranean food. Why thank you for considering me to be brave. I must admit, the pickled turnips did not look at all like I thought they would – hot pink didn’t cross my mind. But they were good and surprisingly simple to make.

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  2. I would never order nor make pickled turnips, because turnips are not on my radar – ever. But when beets are on the menu, I typically go for it. There’s just something about the color of those beets – yum!!

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  3. I am a beet-pickling pro – always use my grandmother’s recipe because they are truly the best I’ve had anywhere. Love them and so does Kidzilla. So does my Mom, come to think of it. Anyway, I generally don’t order in restaurants because I generally think “naahh…not as good as Grandma’s.”

    Sweet or savory pickles – depends on the occasion and the accompanying food. Pickles are far more high-brow food than people think! 🙂

    As for those turnips…I have in my drawer I was wondering what to do with so perhaps I’ll give this a try. Thanks for the idea!

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    1. Someone else willing to try pickled turnips! Yippeee!!!!

      You are so right in your observation: Pickles can be really sophisticated. It is all in the flavors.

      I wish my grandmother had a pickled beet recipe. I’ll have to check through her old cookbook and see if she added anything to the recipe in there.

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