One of the most stressful and delightful thing about having a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) with a local farm is getting produce you don’t usually eat. I’m willing to try anything. And the CSA share that I am apart of directly benefits my friend who is the owner of this local farm. So this past Saturday I picked up the first of 26 weeks of farm-fresh produce and got Hakurei Turnips
Hakurei Turnips, also called Japanese Salad Turnips, have a very mild flavor and are very crisp. The skins are edible like apples so unlike some other root vegetables you don’t have to peel them. These turnips can be eaten raw in a salad or a straight from the field snack. Additionally, you can boil them and mash them just as you would potatoes. Nothing on my menu this week made sense to add them to so in the spirit of waste nothing, I decided to pickle them.
My fiance challenged me to preserve any vegetable we cannot immediately use so we can save them for winter. We are aiming for zero food waste. Composting scraps and canning vegetables for winter. So I give you the first of many unexpected recipes from my CSA.
I used Ball Pickle Crisp Granules because I did not have pickling salt or Kosher Salt. I only had table salt and pink Himalayan salt. I have only used pink Himalayan salt with fermentation projects never with pickling, so I decided to give it a try but to add the pickle crisp to ensure that they keep their crunch.
If you DO have Kosher salt or Pickling salt. Just use 2 Tablespoons of pickling salt or 2 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher Salt and leave out the Pink Himalayan Salt and Pickle Crisp.
For selecting the vinegar for this pickle recipe I looked at the vegetable itself. It is native to Japan so I wanted to use flavors that come from that environment. So I decided on Rice Vinegar and Rice Wine Vinegar. I had 2 bottles between half full and mostly empty that were begging to be used. So I took the opportunity to finish off these bottles and free up some space. White vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar would also work to pickle, it will just add a different flavor.
I used ginger powder because I had it in my house and it was is used in Japanese food. If you are using fresh ginger, peel and slice ginger into small chips and put them at the bottom of the jar before filling it with turnips.
Please keep in mind, these turnips have a delicate light flavor to start, so do not over load them with ginger. The ginger is there to add a hint of something more, but not over load the flavor. If you take a 1 inch piece of ginger and divide that between 3 jars it will be enough.
How to Enjoy?
I personally use very little salad dressing on my salads. So I like to add pickles or vinegar with a good olive oil on the salad. It makes the salad feel fresh and adds a something else.
If you like pickles on your sandwiches, slice these as chips so that you can have a layer on your sandwich to add an additional crisp.
Or if you’re curious, just enjoy them out of the jar. Its OK. I won’t tell.
Let me know if you end up making these and how you like them!
Pickled Hakurei Turnips
- 3 different pots
- Canning funnel
- Jar Lifter
- Lid Lifter
- 3 half pint (8oz) Mason Jars.
- 2 lbs Hakurei Turnips, cleaned and greens trimmed
- 2 cups water plus more for blancing
- 2 cups Rice Vinegar
- 1 tbs Ball Pickle Crisp Granules
- 2 TBS Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 inch Ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger added to each jar
- Place three 8 oz mason jars in a water bath. Water should be about 1 inch over empty cans. Turn heat onto high.
- In another pot, combine 2 cups water, 2 cups Rice Vinegar, Salt, Ball Pickle Crisp and bring to a boil.
- In a third pot, bring water to a boil.
- Prepare the turnips by cleaning them, removing the greens, and cutting them up. I sliced mine in half once, but you can also slice them into disks. If using fresh ginger; peel and slice before setting aside.
- When jars are hot and water has come to a boil, remove jars from water bath and place ginger in the bottom of the jar. Blanch turnips in batches putting blanched turnips for 30 seconds and place directly into jars.
- Pour vinegar liquid over turnips.
- Clean rims of jars and place lids and rings on jars before returning them to the hot water bath. Process in the bath for 15 minutes. Let cool on a kitchen towel.
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