Turnip & Beet Pickle

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Preparation info

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

  • About

The beetroot colours the turnip a delicate rose-pink during pickling. The flavour is quite mild and the texture pleasantly crunchy. The pickle may be eaten after 2 weeks and is best not left more than 3 weeks, or it becomes too salty and the vegetables too soft.


  • 675 g/1½ lb small turnips
  • 225 g/8 oz beetroots
  • 4 hot red chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Pickling Liquid

  • 300 ml/½ pt red wine vinegar
  • 1 level tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 level tbsp salt
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 4 cloves



First make the pickling liquid: bring the vinegar and 300 ml/½ pt water slowly to a boil with the sugar, salt, peppercorns and cloves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and the flavours to infuse.

Top and tail the turnips and beetroots and parboil for 5 minutes in boiling salted water. Refresh in cold water and peel. Cut into 5 cm/2 in by 1 cm/½ in batons.

Pack into two 450 g/1 lb screw-top jars, alternating layers of turnip with beet, with 2 chillies, 1 garlic clove, 1 bay leaf and 10 peppercorns in each jar. Pour over the pickling liquid with its aromatics to cover and close tightly.

Leave in a cool dark cupboard to mature for 2—3 weeks. Refrigerate once opened.

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