For the last six weeks, everything has been awash in pink and red in the run up to Valentine’s Day. People scramble for dinner reservations. Vaginas perform monologues. Food gets shaped like hearts. Same shizz, different year.
My resistance to this holiday is not caused by a lost love or impending spinsterhood. As much as I love unrealistic social expectations, this holiday isn’t my bag. I’m a “try to love each other year-round” kind of girl.
The only part I like is all the pink. Honestly, I wish they would dye more stuff pink. But I can see how that might not go over well with the general public. So instead I’ll settle for pink food.
The first time I saw these hot pink turnips served alongside hummus and tabouleh, I knew it was a match made in heaven. There isn’t a pickled vegetable I wouldn’t take home with me, but that pink hue was absolutely irresistible.
Pickled turnips get their bright color from just a couple small pieces of beet that are canned alongside them. The beets quickly dye the brine, garlic and turnips as they pickle.
Consistent with my reputation of impatience, I use a quick vinegar brine producing tender yet crunchy pickled turnips in just a few hours.
Middle Eastern Pickled Turnips Recipe
1 lb turnips (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2″ strips or batons
1 1/2 c distilled vinegar (at least 5% acidity)
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 small beet, pickled or roasted, sliced
1/4 c celery leaves, chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 pint-size or 1 quart size mason jar(s)
It’s best to store the pickles in glass mason jars. Plastic is porous, and it can absorb flavors of the pickles.
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Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil jar(s) for 5m. Using tongs, remove jars and let cool on clean towel.
Add turnips to boiling water, and let blanch for 1m. Drain turnips.
Combine vinegar, 1 1/2 c water, and salt in a small pan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat once salt has dissolved.
Layer beets, turnips, celery and garlic in the jars. Pour hot liquid over the vegetables until it reaches 1/2″ from the rim. Use a chopstick or skewer to remove the air bubbles in the jars. Let jars cool completely. Put on lids and refrigerate. They’ll have a great flavor after about 4 hours, and will keep for up to 1 month.