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The secret to making Lebanese turnip pickles—Lifit!


Homegrown turnips just harvested from my garden are the perfect size for summer pickled turnips—Lebanese style—called lifit. 

Turnips can be easily grown in spring, summer, or fall—even winter depending upon your location.

Lifit are traditionally served with falafel or along with other pickles in mezza as one of many appetizers. This photos shows some dilly beans I also made from the garden harvest, using crisp, young borlotti beans.


The secret of their glorious color is in the use of one big beet in a jar of sliced white turnips, which impart their sumptuous magenta color to the entire batch of turnips.


Wash and thoroughly clean turnips removing the tips and the greens, which can be used in juicing, green smoothies, salads, or sautéed with onions, garlic, and olive oil.


Chop them into strips, wedges, or however you like, and salt them in a colander, leaving them to drain for a couple of hours.

saltedturnipsPat dry with a clean towel or paper towel and place into a sterilized jar along with one chopped beet. Add brine of salt, white vinegar, garlic, peppercorns, and red pepper and let sit for a week to ten days.  Here’s how they look on the first day!



Day 2, more color!


Lifit can be eaten a couple of days after they’re in the brine, and need to be refrigerated after a week or 10 days. They will stay crips for a couple of months in the fridge. Enjoy adding this amazing colorful pickle to your table, along with the health benefits of eating fermented foods.

Full recipe is found in Alice’s Kitchen: Traditional Lebanese Cooking on page 31.