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.
- 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.