Monday, June 18, 2012

O, Just Some More Turnips

Mike didn't use all the turnips for kimchi- mostly because we were worried about all-turnip kimchi (unfounded fear), so I've put some up in vinegar.  It's too early to say how they rival the turnip kimchi- but they smelled good, and look great in my hoard.

This has been adapted from Canning For a New Generation by Liana Krissoff- a book that is as good as its name.

Cumin and Paprika Pickled Turnips
about 4 pints

takes 2 days to make, as turnips have to brine for at least 8 hrs (for those of you, like me, who don't read recipes through before you begin chopping)

  • 3 pounds of turnips (I used purple top and hakuri), washed, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch-wide sticks
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon kosher or pickling salt
  • juice of 1 organic lemon, plus chopped rind of same lemon
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin (or 4 t whole cumin seed)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 inch of dried cayenne (I've had mine hanging for 2 years, and 1/2-an-inch-at-a-time is not the quickest way to work through them)
  • 3 cups cider vinegar, plus 1 cup water
Put turnips in a large bowl.  Dissolve the 1/4 cup salt in 1 quart of water and pour over turnips.  Place a plate on top to keep all the turnips submerged and brine at room temperature for 8-10 hours, or overnight.  Drain and rinse the turnips, and then toss with spices and lemon juice and rind.

Sterilize 4 pint jars in a canning pot of boiling water.  Leave jars in hot water while you heat the vinegar, 1 cup of water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan (as I write this I am becoming increasingly worried that I added 1 tablespoon of salt instead, and that these pickles might just make better shelf ornaments than taco topping).  Bring vinegar just to a boil.

Place new jar lids in a heat-proof bowl, and pour boiling water over them- either from a kettle, or the canning pot.*  Sterilize tongs, a jar lifter, your canning funnel, and a ladle (unless you've already used it to ladle water on the lids) in the boiling canning pot.  You may need to remove the jars first: lift them out with tongs, pouring all the hot water back into the pot.

Working rather quickly, loosely pack the turnips into the jars, to the bottom of the screw-top point (about 3/4 inch from the top).  Ladle or pour the vinegar though a canning funnel over the turnips, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.   Wipe jar rims with a clean damp paper towel, if needed.  Poke a clean chopstick down around the sides of each jar to remove any large air bubbles. Place lids on top of jars, and tighten lightly.  Return jars to pot make sure they are covered by at least 1 inch of water, bring back to a boil, cover pot, and boil (or 'process') for 15 minutes.  Lift jars from pot and place on a wooden cutting board or a dish towel.  Do not disturb for 12 hours.  Put any unsealed jars (the ones whose button on the lid didn't pop down) into the fridge, and enjoy after about 3 weeks.   Place the sealed, labeled jars in a cool, dry, dark place and admire them from time-to-time.

*I used to boil the lids for about 5 minutes, but Canning For a New Generation advises against this, as it can break down the seal on the lid and make it less, or not, effective.