Arabic Style Pickled Turnips

Yours in good taste, © Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc.  

Visit my blog for the ingredients and method with photographs to help with the "how to"

Beets that aren't pickled are considered a low acid food and would need to be canned using a pressure canner which reaches very high temperatures.  Here they are pickled and we can use the boiling water bath method.

for 2 Jars 500 ml/1 pint each


1-2 large beets

5-6 small to medium size turnips

2 cloves garlic 
4 sprigs celery leaves
1 red onion cut into slivers
1 cup (250 ml) white wine vinegar- organic is best - it should have at least 6% acid 
1 cup (250 ml) cooking liquid from beet
1 1/2 tsp (10 ml) pickling salt


 1.  Give the beets a good wash and trim off top leaving some of the stems and the root in tact.  Cover with cold water in pot and cover with lid.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked through but only tender when pierced with a knife.  Let beets cool in water.  Peel.  Usually you can slip the beet skins off with your hands.  It didn't work this time for me so I used a sharp knife being careful to not peel away the flesh.  Save the liquid.  Cut each beet into 6-8 wedges depending on size.  

2.  Cook small turnips in another pot until just fork tender but not soft (read turnip and not rutabaga).  You are going to put them through a boiling water bath at the end so don't cook them too much as they will cook again in the jar.  Peel once cooked.  I cut them into sticks the best I could.  The ones I ate in the restaurant were sticks but quarters would be fine.

3.  Sterilize four canning jars and sealing rings.  Warm snap lids in hot water. 

4.  Slowly bring the wine vinegar, beet water and sea salt to a boil.

5.  Remove the jars when you are ready to fill them.  Into each warm jar layer the beet and turnip pieces placing sliced onion, garlic slivers and celery leaves between the layers as you go.  Cover with the vinegar mixture.  Put lids on jars to cover.  The turnips are traditionally cut batonette style (in square sticks).

6.  Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove from water and allow to cool on a towel.  You will hear the lids snap.  Store jars in a cool place.  Let sit for at least 10 days before eating.  I keep mine in the fridge as I only make 2 jars at a time.  You don't have to process these in the boiling water at all if you plan to keep them refrigerated and eat within a few weeks.

Note: If you have more vegetables than can fit into the jars I recommend you make more of the liquid and cover them and keep in the fridge to cure!  You can eat these first.  

I ate some of the pickled turnips this week and thought they were really good.  They have no sugar at all.  I will make them again!   I am looking forward to serving them with meals at my Moroccan cooking classes.

NUTRITION FACTS (assuming about 50 grams each or 15 servings per jar): 
10 calories, 0 g fat, 135 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 0 g protein.  %Daily Values are 8% vitamin C.