Happy 2017!! What better way to kick of the new year and nurse the morning after hangover than with some good ol’ pickling. With black eyed peas and collards on the range, bursts of rain outside, and aromas of wood fired stoves burning around my Durham neighborhood, I figured I’d set aside this 1st day of the year to catch up on some blogging. I hope you all enjoyed your holidays. After spending several days with the folks, we headed down to Charleston to eat, drink, and play stupid tourists. Charleston was amazing. Impressed by the old culture, houses, and history that Charleston has to offer, I also found myself up to my ears in pickled goodies. Known as the 1st foodie town of the South, I was not entirely surprised when I found pickles on most of if not all of the menus. My indulgences ranged from pickled giardiniera at Edmund’s Oast to fried pickles at Bar Mash, and a tart and sweet pickled green tomato martini at The Grocery. After three days doing little other than eating and drinking, even this girl was looking forward to a detox diet.
The weekend before last, I visited the Carrborro Farmers’ Market for the 1st time. What makes Carrborro’s market different from the rest is that the actual owner of each business or farm is present at Market each week. So it’s basically as local as it gets! While the summer market probably boasts many more vendors and goodies than the chilly winter market, I still managed to score a couple pounds of tiny turnips from Maple Spring Gardens, a farm located in Cedar Grove, NC. I consulted my girlfriend Kristen who suggested an Indian flavored pickle (not like the ones I’ve sworn off). I decided to pair these lil’ turnips with some fresh turmeric, ginger, red onion slices, and curry powder. Enjoy!
Thankfully I can finally say it, “the holidays are over”! I had a rather low key holiday. I decided to stay home as Thanksgiving was a bit hectic this year, and a break from everyone and everything was exactly what the “doctor” ordered. I considered getting out for a bike ride or hike on the beautiful (50F) day, but instead found myself drinking and pickling these here root veggies. So… how did everyone fare? Get any pickling books, gadgets, appliances? I received a couple more pieces to add to my already excessive Le Creuset collection (thanks mom).
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slacking on pickle recipes and have been focusing my attention on jellies, chutneys, and mustard recipes instead. To be honest, with the exception of carrots, it’s hard to get excited about pickling turnips and other brownish root veggies. When I came across a pre-packaged mixture of local, no-spray root veggies from Garens Greens at Riverside Farm, I was instantly reminded of my summer-time jardiniere and figured because carrots, turnips, and radishes are amazing as pickles à solo, a winter “melange” à trois would likely be equally as awesome. Including beets to the mix seemed like an obvious addition here, but I decided to leave them out as I wasn’t trying to discolor the final product.
If your local farmers market looks anything like mine, it is currently quilted by earth toned root veggies… and that’s about it. Is anyone else digging for in-season pickling ideas? Well, you’re not alone! Beets, onions, carrots, potatoes, garlic, turnips… turnips, there’s an idea. Typically, pickled turnips are characterized by a hue of magenta attributed to an added beet slice. Alternatively, these semi-sweet pickled turnips are flavored with lemon and coriander. This recipe was modified from the Eating From the Ground Up blog. The original recipe called for white turnips and champagne vinegar, if you can find these ingredients go ahead and use them. Also, if you haven’t checked out Alana’s Homemade Pantry Cookbook, I highly suggest it.