Lebanese Pickled Turnips

Every Middle Eastern market sells jars of crunchy pickled turnips tinted the rosy color of beets. The pickles are easy to duplicate, their garnet hue achieved by adding a slice or two of raw beet to each jar. Serve with sandwiches or hamburgers in place of a store-bought dill pickle, or with sliced salami or pate. OR offer them with olives and toasted nuts as an accompaniment to drinks. The small, thin-skinned Tokyo turnips work well here.

1 and 3/4 cups water
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 clove garlic, halved
1 small dried red chile (optional)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3/4-1 pound turnips, preferably no larger than a golf ball, greens removed
1 small red beet, peeled

1. To make the pickling mixture, in a small saucepan, combine the water, salt, garlic, and chile. Set over moderate heat and stir until the salt dissolves. Set aside to cool. When cool, stir in the vinegar.
2. If the turnips are small and thin skinned, you do not need to peel them. Simply scrub them well and quarter them through the stem end. If they are larger and thick skinned, peel them thickly and cut each on into 6 wedges. Cut the beet into pieces of approximately the same size as the turnips.
3. Pack the vegetables into a clean 1-quart jar. Pour the pickling mixture over them, tucking the garlic halve and chile down into the jar. You should have just enough pickling mixture to cover the vegetables and fill the jar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 week before tasting. The pickled turnips will keep in the refrigerate for at least 2 weeks longer.