05 November 2010

Sephardi Pickle - CRUNCH !

How is it that you can be bythely going about your business and something that seems small and insignificant can stop you right in your tracks like a whack on the side of the head? I'm telling you that this salad, pickle, relish, whatever you want to call it did it to me when I happened upon it in a cookbook on Jewish cooking.
These are just common vegetables tossed with salt and left to crisp for a few hours in a colander. You toss them with a sour and sweet dressing and serve them chilled ... and they are so wonderful! So basic, so common, and yet, so crunchy and tasty!

This pickle is a side dish to make when you have a feast of other flavors. The bite cleanses your palate and freshens you for the next bite of whatever. They are sooo good! Did I tell you that I like this dish? Enough, said ... except that I will be making this dish for our Thanksgiving dinner. Perfect foil for the many flavors that will sit that groaning board!

This is such a pretty dish. The colors are so vibrant and they stay that way because all the veg are washed well, salted, and then dressed with a lemon based dressing. It was fun to vary the way I sliced the veg also. On the diagonal for the carrots, celery, and peapods (which I substituted for green beans because the green beans in market were 'blecchh'), in thin ribbons for the sweet red peppers and cabbage leaves, shaved slivers for the ginger root and garlic cloves. Overall the pickle has great visual interest. The key is to not stint on the salting time, as that is what gives the pickle its incredible CRUNCH .

How simple is this dressing? Turmeric gives the dressing an interesting tang and the pickle a lovely golden sheen. A bit of sugar and lemon juice mixed well with white wine vinegar and olive oil. That's it! How easy? Way good for you too! This is a win-win, folks!

Sephardi Pickle
courtesy of Marlena Spieler’s Jewish cooking

Serves: 4

¼ cauliflower head, broken into small florets
1 carrot, peeled and sliced on diagonal
1 celery stalk, washed and sliced on the diagonal
6 perfect green cabbage leaves, washed, center leaf veins trimmed out, rolled, & slivered
½ c. green beans, washed, tipped, and sliced on the diagonal
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
½ jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1 ½ tbsp. ginger root, shaved
½ sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
¼ tsp turmeric
3½ tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
black pepper

Making the Pickle:
1. Prepare all the vegetables and aromatics. Place them in a colander with a plate underneath. Sprinkle with a generous amount of kosher salt. Leave in a spot to drain for at least three hours.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the turmeric, white wine vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and lemon juice. Taste and correct the flavors. Add black pepper to taste.

3. When the vegetables have ‘salted’ for at least three hours, turn them into a large bowl, add the dressing and toss to coat.

4. Turn into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

5. The pickle can be stored in the refrigerator for a week, but it’s wonderful on the same day made!


  1. Hello fellow New Englander! This is my first visit to your blog and I like it! I like the looks of that salad also, it will find it's way to one of my menus - soon! Stop by and "visit" when you have a chance, I love company and new Followers are always welcome! I enjoyed my visit!

  2. Reminds me of the spicy Italian vegetable medley I've seen in the supermarket that comes in a pickle jar. Can't think of the name of it off the top of my head!

  3. came by via one of my favorite bloggers ocean breezes and country sneezes...

    enjoyed my visit here today..

    this recipe looks like it needs to go into my recipe box a.s.a.p.

    kary and teddy

  4. @ Jim - You know? I looked at many of the recipes in this cook book on Jewish cuisine and many seem to have the flavors of the countries where the Jewish communities settled after being ousted from 'where ever' ...


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