If you’re CSA member (stands for Community Supported Agriculture), then you know about surprises. Open your weekly delivery and there could be anything inside. Last week I got a surprise that probably no one can beat: A jar of pickled turnips!
As a Certified Vegetable Guide (!), I’m pretty good at devising uses for odd vegetables, but I just had to stash my jar and wait for inspiration. It came Friday night as I was making a kale salad. Usually I “marinate” the raw kale with olive oil and lemon juice. Could the pickled beets plus a little of the pickling brine substitute for the lemon?
You bet! It worked perfectlly. Just needed a little sweetness to counterbalance the heartiness of the kale and vinegary-ness of the brine. A few raisins (chopped to distribute them more evenly) did the trick. Walnuts added a little more protein to my vegetarian meal.
The only problem: What if you don’t have any pickled turnips? I’m going to work on a recipe to share. It’s a great use for turnips, which are plentiful and cheap, especially when they can then turn a simple kale salad into something quite unique:
So here’s the salad recipe:
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves torn into roughly 2″ squares
1/4 to 1/3 cup raisins, chopped roughly
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted lightly
1/2 cup pickled turnips, cut into 1/2″ cubes
Toss together in a salad bowl.
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup pickling brine.
Combine in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat evenly. Allow to sit and “marinate” for 30 to 60 minutes, if possible.