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Quick refrigerator pickles with turnips, daikon, and beets

Pickles aren't just for summer! Use a beet to dye your turnips and daikons neon pink. These crispy pickles add snap to tacos, on top cooked greens, and as a bright side for more sedate bean dishes. If you are lucky enough to find the vegetables with the greens still attached, try this recipe for turnip and daikon greens.

neon pink pickles made from turnips, daikons, and beets

Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 1 hour. Yield: 2 cups. Oil free, gluten free, vegan.


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 medium turnips
  • 1 small daikon
  • 1 medium beet
  • 2 tablespoons salt (most of this is rinsed off)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle
  • few sprigs fresh fennel or dill (optional)


  1. Put on an apron or old shirt you don't mind getting beet juice on. Fresh beets may splash a bit of juice on your as you cut them. Slice garlic and put into a glass or ceramic container big enough to hold the finished pickles and set aside.
  2. Put a colander on a plate or bowl to catch vegetable juice. Trim and peel turnips, daikon, and beet.

    peeled turnip bulbs
  3. Slice the daikon into thin disks and the turnips and beet into thin rectangular strips and put in colander. Sprinkle with one tablespoon salt, toss, and sprinkle with remaining salt. Every few minutes for about 10 minutes, toss and gently squeeze salted vegetables. Salt draws liquid out of the vegetables, which helps them absorb vinegar later and become crisp.

    turnips, daikon radish, and beet sprinkled with salt in a colander
  4. When enough liquid leaves the vegetables that feel a bit limp, rinse them under cold water, drain, and add to garlic in the glass container. Stir vinegar and chipotle together and pour over vegetables. Stir or toss to coat vegetables with vinegar, toss again about five minutes later, and then refrigerate until well chilled, about 40 minutes.

    raw turnips, beets, garlic, and daikon radish marinate in rice wine vinegar to make quick refrigerator pickles
  5. Serve cold. Keeps for weeks in the refrigerator.

    turnip and daikon radish pickles with beets


  • Warning: don't use recipes that call for fermenting refrigerator pickles on the counter for days before refrigerating them, say researchers at the University of Georgia. You might breed listeria.
  • If you don't have fresh herbs, use a 1/2 teaspoon dill seed or 1 teaspoon dried dill.
  • If you don't have brown rice vinegar, use another mild vinegar, such as plain rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

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