Torshi Left

When I went to graduate school, there were numerous and excellent places to get falafel.  They invariably came with little sour pink pickles, which I later discovered were turnips.  Because I have never seen them for sale, I eventually found a recipe to make them.  I used to make them in the spring.  One night as I was up working on a batch, some tornadoes ripped through the city.  Ever since, I have thought of these as tornado pickles!

These pickles are brined and fermented.  They will need to sit for about a week out on a shelf.  If you see bubbles when you move the jar, then the fermentation is working.  I once tried to process these in a hot water bath, and the fermentation process was killed and the turnips turned to mush.  Ew.  After a week of fermentation, try one.  If they are sour enough, put them in the fridge.  They should be crisp but not raw tasting.  If not, leave them  out for a while, but keep checking on them.


3 small white turnips (This probably amounted to a cup and a half of turnip.  This recipe made one pint jar, so if you use a large turnip, you may only need one)
1/2 of a beet (about 1/2 cup sliced beet)
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup of water
1 tbsp of salt

1.  Heat the water in a shallow pan and dissolve the salt.  I simmered the water, but it is not really necessary to get it hot.

2.  While you are doing that, cut the veggies.  Chop the turnips into bite-sized pieces.  Slice the beet thin, and sliver the garlic.

3.  Stuff the veggies in a pint jar.  You can layer then, or just mix them up.  The end result is the same, but the layered veggies look pretty while they brine.


4. Pour the hot salt water over the veggies, covering them in the jar, and put the lid on the jar.  Hot water may seal the jar, but it’s not important.  As the fermentation process starts, you’ll get little bubbles rising to the surface, and they would disturb a seal anyway.  But bubbles are what you want.

5.  Let the pickle sit at room temperature, say on a shelf, out of the way, for a week.

Torshi left are eaten with falafel and with other middle eastern mezze like hummus, labneh, chopped vegetable salads, and stuffed grape leaves.  The beets and garlic can be eaten too.  Postlibyan likes these in particular, so I added a little more than I otherwise might.  The whole thing will turn a deep pink hue.


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