Lebanese pickled turnips

There is an excellent falafel place near my work where you can get a falafel pita sandwich for $3.00 flat.

Pickled turnips

I am a frequent patron of this place, and therefore know all of the procedures for ordering. It is a very busy weekday lunch spot, and the guys behind the counter can get a little soup nazi-ish when the customers line up in the wrong area or fail to inform of their choice of toppings.

Pickled turnips

I usually get a “falafel sandwich with everything” to make things easy, and also because I like everything. Ordering this always gets a nod of approval from the assemblers in their chaotic little area.

Pickled turnips

One time I was dutifully standing in the “already paid” line-up waiting for my turn to inform the falafel maker of my choice, when a woman, clearly a newb, mistook the direction of the lineup and thought she was in the “still undecided on what to have” lineup. She started asking the guy behind the counter if the garlic sauce was spicy. Could I have non-spicy? And what are those pink things, those look weird. I don’t want the pink things.

Pickled turnips

“They are turnips, madam,” the man said, seething, “and you are in the wrong line-up. Please go over there and pay first.”

Pickled turnips

She made her way to the correct line-up and proceeded to order a falafel with no tomatoes, no hot sauce, no hummus, no garlic sauce or “those pink things”. I was fully expecting him to scream “NO FALAFEL FOR YOU”.

But seriously, lady. I think you meant to go into the Subway around the corner and not this palace of garlic and spiciness.

During this exchange I gazed dreamily at those turnips. Those weird, pink slices of heavenly tart and spicy pickles. And I knew I must make them at home.

Pickled turnips

They are pink because they are typically pickled with a beet to give them that vibrant, crazy colour. I have made these on two occasions, once using a regular beet and once using a golden beet for a bright yellow turnip.

Pickled turnips

These are great as a snack on their own, or of course in a falafel or shawarma sandwich. Here’s the recipe!

Pickled turnips

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