July 15, 2009

citrus pickled turnips with gin and juniper berries

citrus pickled turnips with gin and juniper berries

I am posting from Westport Massachusetts, proud home of the macomber turnip. Westport is considered by many the Napa Valley of New England. Its coastal rivers and miles of farms produce some of the finest food in the region.
I thought it appropriate to include my friend Dan Georges’ recipe for pickled turnips. Dan is a local chef and pickle guru extraordinaire. I was fortunate enough to eat one of Dans summer feasts, cooked by his catering company Smoke and Pickles. They served a whole striped bass cooked in his smoker, which he trailers behind his truck. As he drives down the road smoke pours from it, making mouths water for miles. He's the foodie Pied Piper of Westport. Fantastic sides from local farms accompanied the bass along with an array of his tasty pickles.
The recipe below, for his pickled turnips is completely unique, and a perfect pickle. He makes his with the infamous macomber but any fresh turnip will do.
It’s crunchy, briny, and citrusy and has something else you can’t quite put your finger on, a touch of gin. I am a big fan of pickles for breakfast, but you might want to think twice about popping one of these bad boys into your mouth before 10am.
This recipe is in Dans fantastic book, Quick Pickles, published by Chronicle Books.
Must go, I’m off to find some old lady, rumored to have fresh currants!


  • 2 lbs small turnip s ( peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick)
  • 3 tablespoon kosher salt
  • zest of 1 orange julienned
  • zest of 2 lemons julienned
  • zest of 2 limes julienned
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup gin
  • 1/2 cup white grape juice
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries
  • 4 teaspoons peeled , finely minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric

  1. In a non-reactive bowl combine the turnips and the salt and toss well. Set aside for about 1 hour , or until the turnips are limp enough to fold without breaking. Drain and rinse twice to remove salt.
  2. Place the turnips in a large non-reactive bowl or in glass jars with all of the remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate.
  3. The flavors begin to develop almost immediately, but they improve significantly overnight as the juniper steeps in the liquid.
  4. These pickles keep covered, refrigerated for 3-4 weeks