November 12, 2005

Turnip Pick Quickles

My various pickling posts have been popular search items, but many people are put off from trying to make pickles by uncertainty about canning. Both pickling and canning were developed as ways to preserve food before the invention of modern refrigeration. Today you can enjoy the flavor and texture benifits of pickling without the complications, altho it will limit your storage capacity. If you are going to pickle for the fridge rather than the pantry there are quick pickling recipes which won't tie up space while curing. I have been slicing carrot strips and sticking them in the brine of commercial pickle jars for decades, but the impact is minimal. It takes more than that; just not what it takes for a slow-cure pickle. The red version of the following recipe comes from Quick Pickles, by Chris Schlesinger, John Willoughby & Dan George. I worked up the white version to suit the Veteran's Day Carnival theme. There is of course no blue variant.

It is interesting to note that the George Carlin assertion regarding the absence of blue food has been brought up in the context of mushrooms. I am willing to wager that George Carlin has seen the color blue occuring naturally on some of the mushrooms he has eaten.

1 1/2 cups grape juice
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup coarse non-iodized salt (sold as kosher or pickling salt)
4 cloves garlic -- peeled and crushed
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
2 pounds white turnips, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick wedges

Combine the grape juice, vinegar, water, salt, and garlic in a medium nonreactive saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring once or twice to dissolve the salt.

Meanwhile, toss the horseradish and turnips together in a large bowl. When the liquid comes to a boil, pour it over the turnips until they are well covered. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Either the bowl or storage containers must be able to take the boiling brine; pack before or after cooling as appropriate.

The authors suggest grating your own horseradish. Having breathed in a house where this was done I do not.

For the red variant, substitute

2 cups cranberry juice
1 1/2 cups red vinegar vinegar

for the equivalent liquids and add

1 medium beet -- peeled, halved, and sliced about 1/4 inch thick

Proceed as above

The pickles will deepen in color and flavor within 24 hours and will keep, covered and refrigerated, for several months.

Posted by triticale at November 12, 2005 12:12 PM | TrackBack
I am willing to wager that George Carlin has seen the color blue occuring naturally on some of the mushrooms he has eaten.
Probably red as well. Posted by: Dave Schuler at November 13, 2005 01:52 PM
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