Monday, July 11, 2011

Don’t turn up your nose until you try it!

Who likes turnips? I’m thinking not so many of us. Let’s face it, they get a pretty bad rap. In fact the only way I remember ever eating turnips as a kid was when they were raw, peeled and cut into pieces, you know, like a carrot (but not!). I have also heard of mashed turnips, you know, like buttery mashed potatoes (but not!). And then there are turnip greens, which makes me think of a fresh, green lettuce salad. Nope, not like that either. We’re talking cooked, like spinach, and don’t even get me started on the bad rap spinach gets.

There is one way I not only like turnips, but think they are pretty tasty, and bonus, nice to look at as well. They are pickled turnips, you know, like dill pickles (but not!). They are much easier to make than pickles and are great during the summer months to enjoy as a snack or with salads or sandwiches, accompanied by pickled cucumbers and peppers.

The recipes for these summertime snacks couldn’t be easier, or believe me, I wouldn’t make them. They are quick to make, but need the added ingredient of patience to give the veggies enough time to pickle. Maybe turnips are the virtuous veggie or something. Anyway, the taste improves as they age. Try them for yourself; here are the recipes below.

Pickled Turnip Recipe

3 turnips (peeled and diced into medium pieces)
1 small beet (peeled and sliced)
4 garlic cloves
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water (or equal parts with vinegar)
1 tsp salt (more or less to taste, but should be quite salty)

Place all ingredients in a quart jar, stir to mix and leave out for two or three days (or refrigerate if you like). The turnips will take on the magenta color from the beet within hours, but the pickled flavor will be best after a few days. Once the jar has been opened, I advise refrigerating. The turnips will stay crisp and fresh for up to a month or more in the refrigerator.

Pickled Cucumber and Pepper Recipe

2-3 cucumbers (peeled and sliced)
1 red or yellow pepper (cut into half-rings)
1 small Walla Walla Sweet onion, sliced (I omit the onion, but my mom swears by it:)
fresh basil leaves
a few sprinkles of dill
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water (or equal parts with vinegar)
1 tsp salt (more or less to taste, but should be quite salty)

Place all ingredients in a quart jar (larger if needed), stir to mix and refrigerate. The vegetables will take on the pickled flavor after a few hours and can be kept for up to a week or more in the refrigerator but will not keep their crispness. Don’t worry, you will eat them up within a day or two anyway. :)

So, don’t turnip up your nose on these pickled treats until you give them a try. Think of them like every other pickled veggie you’ve ever eaten~but not!


barbgep said...

Sheri, I've got to try the pickled beets. I have tried and tried to make them like "Mom's Cafe" in California, to no avail. (They wouldn't give me the recipe.) I think I have discovered the trick---the garlic. I'm going to try them again as soon as I get some turnips. By the way, your pictures of the turnips and cukes look so pretty. And the "Don't turn up you nose---" is very clever too. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

Anonymous said...

Sheri....we did the pickles and love them. Ate them half gone tonight with our egg salad sandwiches...Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. You are a grand sis-in-law!

Kelly said...

I'm going out to buy turnips now!! That looks good!!

Julie said...

Yum, I am going to have to get Dick to try the pickled turnips - they sound tasty! I actually like turnips - not raw, but boiled, drained then add a little pepper. Maybe not so appetizing in these 100+ degree temperatures, but in fall and winter this makes for a healthy and low calorie side dish. See if you can stomach the cooked ones sometime!