Did you just gag a little when you read the word turnips in my title. It’s okay. I understand. Believe me, if it were not for my CSA, turnips would not be passing through these lips. Seriously, you people that talk about planting your garden and how good your turnips are doing…really? I mean…really!? I find it so hard to believe that there are people who actually think, “Wow, I’m going to plant some turnips!” Of course, you’re probably the same people who also plant lima beans, and there is simply no hope for you. None at all.
So anyway, I have these turnips. And I admit they are kind of pretty, in their whole part of nature kind of way. So, I turn to my handy dandy new book The Joy of Pickling, Revised Edition: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market. Yes, I said, NEW. I do not consider this another cookbook purchase however. It’s preserving, it’s planning for the future, it’s economical. So, let’s drop the whole she-bought-another-cookbook train of thought, shall we?
I decide to try the Quick Pickled Baby Turnips. I’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. If they are horrible, that’s fine, I throw them out, and my opinion of turnips remains confirmed. If they are good or even tolerable, then it’s a win! And guess what? They were pretty darn good. She says that they are ready after two days, but they were still kind of strong then. It’s been about a week, and they are mellowing out a bit, and quite tasty. You can use them wherever you would normally use a pickle, like as a snack with sandwiches or cut them up into salads.
Quick Pickled Baby Turnips
Makes about 1 pint
1 pound small turnips (1-2 inches in diameter) trimmed and peeled
2 teaspoons pickling salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon seeded and minced hot or sweet chili pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
Score the turnip on the top and bottom. Place the turnips into a bowl. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour this brine over the turnips. Let them stand for 30 minutes to one hour.
Drain the turnips and return them to the bowl (I placed mine straight into the canning jar). Add the minced peppers. Combine the sugar and the vinegar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour this over the turnips. Cover the turnips and refrigerate. They are ready to eat after 2 days. If you keep them covered and refrigerated they will keep for several months.