Recipe from a friend: 3-4 pounds beets 1 1/2 cups of balsamic vinegar 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Bake the whole, washed, beets in a (I forgot to look at this, but this is about the only temperature my oven knows) 350º oven until done- -longer than you think, an hour or a little more. On a cookie sheet or a broiler rack. Towards the end of this time reduce the 1 1/2 cups of vinegar on top of the stove down to 3/4 of a cup. Keep watching it. Too much below that and you end up with burning carbon. It's pretty nasty, and Balsamic Vinegar is too expensive to waste. Peel and chop the slightly cooled beets, put into a bowl, add (and toss with) the still-hot vinegar and finely chopped garlic. Pungent and wonderful.
My Iraqi friend brought some delicious, yellow, pickled mixed vegetables to share when we had a covered dish / potluck / pitch in, one day, at work. They knocked my socks off and I asked if his wife could give me the recipe or if it was one of those everything-to-taste recipes. He said he would ask.
She tried. Bless her sweet heart. And I am incredibly grateful for her effort. But, it’s one of those recipes that is everything according to your taste. So, it isn’t going to be an easy thing for me to make. The first time. And it requires an unfamiliar ingredient. The pickling spice is not the same combination as American pickles use.
I had to find it in an Arabic grocery store. And I ONLY speak American English. This did NOT help. But, the very nice people at the Mecca Market in Raleigh did their best to understand what the hell I was talking about. And I have a package of this.
And I have all the other ingredients for the recipe. So, I’m going to try it tomorrow. In the mean time, here is what she sent me. I will add quantities as I figure them out.
1. Cucumber (small size) pickle (She used dill pickles.)
4. Green pepper
6. Vinegar (apple cider)
7. Lemon juice
8. Citric acid
10. Olive oil
12. Torshe spices (Iraqi spices, in Raleigh Arabic store)
1. Chop each of parsley and garlic. Mix them together.
2. Wash cucumber pickles and slit it them up one side. Put them in a strainer.
3. Stuff the cucumbers with the garlic and parsley mixture and place in a clean, dry jar.
4. Mix vinegar, lemon juice, citric acid, garlic and salt together. *I usually lighten the vinegar with water (1 cup vinegar / 1 cup water) or 2 cups vinegar / 2 cups water. Put this part together as you like for more sour or salty.
5. Boil each of cabbage, carrots and green pepper separately and put them in the strainer until they cool.
6. Arrange the vegetables in the form of layers above the cucumbers.
7. Make another mixture, same ingredients. But, this time, you have to add Torshe spices.
8. Add mixture until it covers all the vegetables.
9. Add some olive oil on top to prevent mustiness.
10. Close the jar tightly and leave it at room temperature. After 2 or 3 days, the torshe will be ready to eat.
Further questioning gave me the information that you put hot solution on the stuffed pickles and cold solution with the torshe spice over the whole thing. And you cook the other vegetables until they are almost done but still have crunch and you stop the cooking so that they aren’t completely right allowing the solution to finish cooking them.
1 quart with stuffed dill cucumber pickles, carrot, bell pepper, red cabbage chunks and slivers.
1 pint without cucumbers but with 50/50 parsley/garlic mixture on the top of the other vegetables.
3 half pints of Mexican sour gherkins with parsley/garlic mixture on top.
Pickling solution poured over all of them (boiling):
2 c. vinegar
2 c. water
2 Tbsp. torshe spice
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. citric acid
Sealed in canning jars.
An online friend (Jil McIntosh) posted this elsewhere and I’m putting it here to try later.
I just made a batch of lemon relish, having used the last of it. I love this stuff. Most commonly I boil little potatoes and then roll them in some of it. You have to make the pickled lemons first but that's easy. Take lemons - however many - and cut them into quarters. Put them into a clean jar and as you do, cover each layer with kosher or pickling salt. When the jar is full, add enough lemon juice - I cheat and use bottled - to cover the whole thing. Let them rest (I put them in the refrigerator) for about a month. They'll last indefinitely. To use them, scrape the pulp out and discard it and then rinse the rind. It's a Moroccan specialty and very popular in stews, especially with chicken. To make the relish: 1/2 salt lemon (2 quarters), pulp removed and rind rinsed 1/2 cup chives 2 tbsp. lemon juice 1 tbsp. smoked paprika 3 tbsp. olive oil Put everything in a blender and whirl it around. Store it in the fridge or, for long-term, freeze it. When I put it on potatoes, if it's too thick, I thin it with a little cooking water and then roll the potatoes in it.