- Course: Antipasto/Mezze, Snack
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 11 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
When she traveled to the United States by ship from Palestine, pickles were one of the many things that my great-grandmother Esther prepared for the thirty-day trip. It was important for the family to bring their own food since they kept kosher; the only food they could eat that was provided by the ship was bread. The acidic, salty flavor not only whets the palate but enhances the taste of many foods, especially bland dishes. Syrian pickles also look pretty: pink turnips and cauliflower, green tomatoes, and brown baby eggplants are always the finishing touches found in a maazeh spread to add color and texture. Be sure to use coarse or kosher salt when making the pickles; the iodine in table salt will cause them to go bad.
1. Fill a 1-quart jar with the vegetable of choice, placing the quartered beet on the bottom, if using.
2. Bring the water, vinegar, salt, and garlic to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Pour the mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes, mix well, and close the jar tightly. Set aside in a cool, dark place for 3 full days (72 hours). Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 months.
Wednesday was when my great-grandfather Matloub, the head rabbi of the Brooklyn Syrian community, would sit down with my great-grandmother to plan the Shabbat meals. It was a given that no meal could be planned without pickles of some sort. He was very finicky, with a soft spot for salt.
This recipe serves 15.