Pink Pickled Baby Turnip Carpaccio

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Pink Pickled Baby Turnip Carpaccio

While winter turnips typically make their way into cold-weather soups and stews, small, delicate baby turnips are among the first early-season roots that lend themselves to pickling. For this dish I thinly slice the turnip pickles to reveal their rose-petal-pink interior and elegantly arrange them on plates so they can be properly admired before digging in.

© Cultured Foods for Your Kitchen: 100 Recipes Featuring the Bold Flavors of Fermentation by Leda Scheintaub, Rizzoli New York, 2014



  • 4 to 6 Pink Pickled Baby Turnips (recipe follows)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese shavings (optional)
  • Microgreens (optional)
  • 8 to 10 baby turnips (about 1 ounce each), greens removed, ends trimmed, and scrubbed well
  • 2 red beet slices
  • About 1¾ cups Basic Salt Brine (recipe follows)
  • BASIC SALT BRINE (Makes 2 quarts)
  • 2 quarts filtered water
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons fine sea salt


Slice the turnips as thinly as possible using a sharp knife. Arrange the turnips on a large serving plate or 4 individual serving plates. Drizzle generously with oil, grind some pepper on top, and scatter some Parmesan shavings and microgreens on top if you like. Serve immediately.

For the pink pickled baby turnips: Tightly pack the turnips into a 1-quart glass. Nestle in the beet slices. Pour enough brine over the turnips to cover them, leaving at least 1 inch of space remaining at the top.

Choose a weight that fits snugly into your jar (such as a glass filled with water or a small ramekin with a rock in it) and press down on it until the brine rises over the level of the turnips. Place the jar on a rimmed plate to catch any potential overflow, cover with a clean dish towel, and set aside in a cool place away from sunlight to ferment. After a few days, check your turnips, removing mold if any develops (don’t worry if you don’t get all of the mold; you’ve created an anaerobic environment in which it is almost impossible for bad bacteria to take root).

Your turnips will be ready in about 1 week, depending on the season and kitchen temperature and how tangy you like them. Remove the weight, cover, and place them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about 6 months.

For the basic salt brine: In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of the water and the salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the salt is dissolved. Pour into a glass jar and add the remaining 6 cups water. Cover and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep indefinitely. Stay clear of table salt and tap water for your pickling brine, as the two can interfere with fermentation. Stick with pure sea salt and filtered water.

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