I love pickling and pickles. Especially ones like this that don’t require processing. They’re great as side dishes, condiments, additions to salads and sandwiches, a quick snack. This particular pickle has a fair amount of sugar, but, as it’s a sweet-and-sour pickle, a level of sweetness is desired. You control the various elements in a recipe, so use less sweetener if like–but do include some, it balances the heat of the pepper and ginger. Depending on the amount of turnips you are using, you may not need to use all of the liquid. Also, I like to reuse pickling liquids such as this a few times. Try it with other roots, carrots, etc.
1 c water
1/2 c rice vinegar; or cider vinegar or other vinegar
4 T sugar, or honey, or agave
1 t salt
1 fresh pepper, seeded and sliced; or 1 dried pepper, reconstituted; or 1 t crushed red pepper flaked
1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced, or 1/2 t dried ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed, or sliced
Japanese turnips, with greens, if you like
1. Heat water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a non-reactive saucepan, stirring occasionally. You want to dissolve the sugar and salt granules. You shouldn’t need to bring the solution to the boil, which is a good thing if you’re using raw (cider) vinegar. Add the pepper and ginger and remove from heat.
2. Quarter or slice the turnips, and greens, if using. Put into a non-reactive bowl or a quart jar. Pour the liquid over, covering the vegetable entirely. Cool to room temperature, then chill at least 8 hours before eating, though they’ll still be good if you can’t wait that long…