Beetroot brings attractive colour and its inimitable sweet, slightly earthy flavour to this Middle Eastern speciality. The pickle is delicious with falafel or cold roast beef. When buying beetroot, choose firm, unblemished, small-to medium-sized specimens. If you buy beetroot with green tops, reserve them and cook like spinach for a tasty vegetable accompaniment.

Middle Eastern Pickle



1kg/2 1/4lb young turnips
3-4 raw beetroot (beets)
about 45ml/3 tbsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt
juice of 1 lemon


1. Wash, but do not peel the turnips and beetroot.. Then cut them into slices about 5mm/1/4in thick. put the salt in a bowl with about 1.5 litres/2 1/2 pints/6 1/4 cups water, stir and leave on one side until the salt has completely dissolved.

2. Sprinkle the beetroot with lemon juice and divide among four 1.2litre / 2pint / 5cup sterilized jars. Top with the sliced turnips, packing them in very tightly. Pour over the brine, making sure that the vegetables are completely covered.

3. Seal the jars and leave in a cool place for seven days for the flavours to develop before serving.