December 06, 2012

Pickled Turnips

I have been carrying around this recipe stored on my shopping list app on my phone. It feels very vulnerable there. I am terrified of deleting it...I must give it some measure of posterity here. It deserves it.

This is another recipe for Pickled Turnips with Beets. And it’s courtesy of Sam at the Armenian Kitchen. I’ve written about the AK before in my screed on routine. It’s a bit of a Toronto institution for those who come from east of Yonge St. – and for those with a taste for homemade hummus to die for – and baba ghanoush - and shawarma – and kabobs…all made there.

As my friend’s friend said…east of Yonge…not as far east as Pickering…you know…the middle east…

The pickled turnips come with every meal. They’re brought to the table on a saucer – and it’s a fight for survival from then on…Steve and I wolf them down like people finding an oasis in the desert.
Last time we were there, Sam brought us a takeout container for the rest of our hummus and baba ghanoush and tabbouleh…oh I forgot the tabbouleh!... and I asked him why all the people around us were leaving the turnips untouched. “Are they crazy?” I asked, apparently very loudly…. Steve and Sam jumped a little…

It’s a food crime.

Which tells you I’m not adult enough yet to accept that people might not like everything I like. I refuse to accept it…so…there.

I posted a recipe before that I gleaned from several sources in a vain attempt to match these…but they don’t come close.

Sam took pity on me when I explained how I was making them – and he gave me the recipe…and we tried it…we’ve tried it three times now and the fourth batch will be ready this weekend.
Let me know if you give these a try. And if you can get to the Armenian Kitchen – it’s in a dingy Scarborough strip mall on Victoria Park Ave – between Eglinton and Lawrence Ave.

Sam just smiled and wagged his finger at me when I asked for the hummus was worth a shot.

Armenian Kitchen's Pickled Turnips

1 cup white vinegar
5 cups cold water
2 tbsp sea salt
1 good sized beet
5-6 smallish turnips (we found the smaller turnips better)

Mix the vinegar and water with the salt and stir until salt is dissolved.
Scrub the beet and turnips and trim their ends. No peeling required.

Finely chop the beet. Set aside.

Chop the turnip into bit-sized slices about ¼ inch thick. Set aside.

Keep the beets and turnips separate.

In a very clean jar (Sam didn’t say you had to sterilize it, but make sure it’s very clean) layer in the turnip slices until they’re just under halfway up the jar.

Add a layer of beets.

Layer in the rest of the turnip. And finish with a layer of beets. Weigh it down if you can.

Pour the water mixture into the jar, filling it.

Sam was very precise about this part – do not touch the inside of the jar with your hands at this point.

Lay plastic wrap over the neck of the jar, and screw on the lid.

Set aside for two weeks. “Two weeks! Not one! Not like my wife who will sneak in before the two weeks is over. Two. Weeks,” Sam said…And when Sam says…two weeks…he means two weeks.
…which for us is this weekend. It’s like Christmas...



CarolT said...

We too love the Armenian Kitchen. I live just down the road off of Victoria Park. I am SO pleased to get this recipe. I shall be making some next week when I am back. Thank you!

GordandLee Martin said...

Yowzers. I went googling for Armenian pickled turnips and I get THE recipe from the Armenian Kitchen where I found them first and best. Thanks.
Gord Martin
(, )

Fashion Puttana said...

Oh my goodness this is great! I cannot wait to make a batch as I've recently moved and there aren't too many Armenian restaurants nearby.
Also you said something about hummus and I am making my first batch from scratch tomorrow so I just found this blog and it's all bout hummus.
Hope it helps.