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Torshi Left: Pickled Turnip

June 17, 2021

On the ledge of a felafel stand in the heart of Ashkelon, pale rose-colored half-moons floated in bright pink liquid in a slightly grimy jar. The felafel man pointed and asked if I wanted some: “At rotzah?” I didn’t know exactly what I was ordering, but I said yes. Those half-moons were tasty though not particularly memorable on their own, but on my felafel sandwich, they brought a sour crunch that sparkled. I was curious and asked what they were, but the language barrier was too extreme; each time I pointed at the jar and asked “Mah zeh?” the felafel man muttered something, cigarette dangling, and shook his head.

Featured in: Want To Make Your Ordinary Sandwich Extraordinary? Add a Turnip. Seriously.


  • 3tablespoons Himalayan salt, or 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar for a milder taste
  • Four or five medium turnips, organic is best
  • One medium beet
  • 3-5cloves of garlic
  • 1stalk of celery, chopped, optional (Pickle Guys add celery)
  • 1whole small chili pepper such as Serrano or dried red chili, optional


  • Step 1

    In a non-reactive saucepan, boil one cup of water, lower heat, and stir in salt until it dissolves. Let cool.

  • Step 2

    Stir in vinegar.

  • Step 3

    Peel turnips and cut into quarters.

  • Step 4

    Scrub beet, and peel if not organic.

  • Step 5

    Peel garlic, but don’t smash.

  • Step 6

    Place all vegetables in clean quart jar. Pour brine over vegetables.

  • Step 7

    Add enough room-temperature water to cover vegetables completely, and cover jar.

  • Step 8

    Let sit in a cool spot for three days to one week.

  • Step 9

    You can open the jar to test taste. Then refrigerate for up to three weeks.

  • I usually make these without vinegar, but the vinegar is authentic.