Pickle pickle pickle

by Sofia

Pickles are scrappy, humble, and delicious. Tonight I made two pickles: turnips with beets and chamutsim. Both of these I found all over the place in Israel, but especially the chamutsim in every place they served sandwiches, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since my last sandwich lunch (turkey-roast beef on whole wheat bread with pesto-mayonnaise-sweet chili sauce) on the beach in Tel Aviv. Try it: have a sandwich, any sandwich, with a side of pickles. You’ll see.

Pickled turnip and beet

5 tbsp coarse pickling salt
between 1 – 2 big eating tbsp of vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 beet (per each litre of water) I used 2, that’s 1 per jar
Turnips ** I used 4

Cut the Turnips and beets in whichever way you desire.

Prepare the brine for pickling:
– Mix sugar and vinegar and water
– Add salt little by little, so 1 tbsp at a time (mixing to dissolve)

To know the proper amount of salt in the water bring a raw clean egg (in it’s shell) and gently lower it into the water.
The egg will start off at the bottom, making it’s way up in the water with the more salt you add into the brine.

It should neither float nor silk, so it should be suspended in the middle of the jar, any higher and it would be too salty.

– Add your root vegetables (Turnip and Beet) into the jar and seal the jar (close) and let sit on the counter for 2 weeks (then transfer into the fridge) and enjoy!!

** For a twist, add garlic cloves, or even hot chili peppers in the jar.


What you need:

1 head of cauliflower; leaves removed and florets separated and cut small
5 leaves of cabbage; coarsely chopped into 1″ x 1″ squares or 2″ x 2″ (I used half a head and chopped it into cubes)
2 small red bell peppers or 1 large red bell pepper; cut into 1″ squares and small strips for variety
1 carrot; cut on a bias
10-12 bay leaves
3 tsp amba spice mix – At an Indian or Middle Eastern spice store, it may be called “Amchur/Amchoor.” Alternately, pull together some ground mustard seeds, chili powder, hot paprika, and a little cumin. But FYI, I’ve made this without the spice mix and it’s still good.
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch of ground pepper
1 tsp peppercorns–the big ones (about 25-30) (I used allspice, too)
3 tblsp salt
8 c water
2 c white vinegar

How to do it:

Cut the vegetables into slices and disassemble the cauliflower into little florets. Wash the vegetables and transfer them to a large pot. Add the water and vinegar and cook until water boils. Once it boils, turn off the heat, move the pot to another burner, add the spices and cover. Allow to sit for at least two hours on the counter. Transfer to a jar and secure tightly. Enjoy!