Red-Wine Pickled Rutabaga (it’s shwarma-tastic!)

Today (and technically yesterday, since it’s a two-day process), I made pickled rutabaga using red wine vinegar (mostly) and some sliced beets as well.

These are the pink things that you see in shwarma shops. I’ve also had them presented as a bright (colour-wise and flavour-wise) addition to salads (very tasty). So I decided to try making them at home.

Below is my recipe, and below that are my comments on the things I changed around a little bit.

~*~

Pickled Rutabagas

First, chop a two-pound rutabaga into “french fries” (thin, but not too thin, strips that are NOT longer than your 1-cup jar is deep).
Slice a couple of beets up into rounds, while your at it. This is mainly for colour, but also for a little added sweetness.
The end result should be eight cups of rutabaga strips plus however many beets you have.
THOUGHT: You could do a mix of rutabaga, white turnip, daikon radish, watermelon radish(?), and maybe golden and chioggia beets, for a really interesting combination of roots. 🙂

Next step: Brining the rutabaga
Throw your rutabaga strips and your beet slices into a large tupperware
Sprinkle with ¼ C salt and cover with about 1 litre (4C) water.
Put a lid on it, and let it sit for 24 hrs
NOTE: This will make your kitchen smell like slightly fermenting turnips because that is exactly what’s going on. Don’t worry, the smell clears out quickly. But I thought I should give you the heads up.

24 hrs later…
Sterilize 8 one-cup jars (plus lids and rings) in a boiling-water/steam bath

Drain the water off the rutabagas-and-beets and give them a bit of a rinse

Into each hot jar put:
1 (small-medium) clove garlic
½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
1 slice of beet

Pack hot jars full of rutabagas

Make pickling solution:
Pickling Solution:
2 C red wine vinegar
1 C white wine vinegar
½ C apple cider vinegar
½ tsp each: coriander seeds (ground), salt, paprika, and cumin

Bring pickling solution to a boil
Ladle boiling pickling solution over rutabagas
Cap with sterilized lids and rings
Process in a boiling-water/steam bath for 5-10 minutes
Allow to cool on a wire rack – you’ll hear the “plunk” as they seal

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And that’s my recipe.

The white wine vinegar was actually a late addition – 2C red wine vinegar + half a cup apple cider vinegar was enough to do six jars of pickles, but not eight. So two of my jars are white-wine pickled rutabagas, rather than red-wine pickled rutabagas. I’ll be interested to see what the colour and flavour differences are once we open them up. 🙂

Also, because I had a LOT of extra beet slices left over (I sliced up all six of the rather wizened beets that were drying out in the bottom of my crisper), so I also made a one-cup jar worth of pickled beets.

I used more or less the same spice blend – the corriander seed, salt, cumin, and paprika, plus the mustard seed and garlic as additions in the jar but (1) I also added a tiny sliver of candied ginger plus about six whole black peppercorns to the Additions, and (2) I used a mix of balsamic vinegar (a little over half a cup) and apple cider vinegar (about a quarter cup) for the pickling solution. I’m quite the fan of beets in balsamic vinegar, so I’m looking forward to trying these in a little while.

Anywhoo. That’s my quick canning-related post for this evening. Stay tuned. Having just watched The Witches of Eastwick for the first time in my life last night, I’ll be doing “F is for Film (and/or Fiction)” in a day or two. 🙂

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