Recipe Corner: Homemade Assorted Pickles (Armenian Toorshi)

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Some say Armenian and Middle Eastern pickled vegetables (toorshi or torshi) has been an effective way to preserve vegetables for thousands of years. Not only are homemade assorted pickles simple to make, they can easily be customized and are a perfect addition to any meal, says Lena Tashjian, a writer and vegan recipe developer, and author of The Vegan Armenian Kitchen Cookbook (released in January 2020). Try this updated recipe to have a delicious jar full of crunchy goodness on hand any season of the year, and feel free to get creative. Make your own pickled vegetables with just a few minutes of preparation. Lena adds that the outcome of this recipe depends on the number of vegetables and the size of the jar you use, so use enough vegetables to completely fill up the jar of your choice.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup or 1 handful of dried chickpeas

A few large cloves of garlic, peeled but left whole

Other optional seasonings: sprigs of parsley, dill, oregano, tarragon, thyme, etc.

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Celery stalks, cut into wedges

Cauliflower, with florets separated, cut into chunks

Carrots, cut in half length-wise, then cut into 3 or 4-inch pieces

Kirby cucumbers, sliced

Jalapenos or chili peppers, sliced (remove seeds if you find it too spicy)

Cabbage, cored, cut into small chunks

Green peppers (Italian frying peppers preferred, seeds removed, cut into chunks)

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Sliced lemon (peel or remove some of the rind to avoid a bitter flavor), optional

(Also add turnips, small eggplants, green tomatoes, whole green beans, and jicama to this recipe. To give vegetables a beautiful color, add a small amount of beetroot, peeled and sliced into discs. Beetroot is often added to Armenian pickles for color, which is similar to how they are made in the Middle East. Beetroot gradually turns everything a deep pink. It should keep unopened for several months.)

Brine:

3 cups of boiled water that has returned to room temperature

1 cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons pickling salt

1/2 teaspoon citric acid

3/4 teaspoon sugar

Preparation:

Sterilize the jar and lid. Add chickpeas to the jar first, and then toss in the peeled garlic cloves.

Wash, slice or chop all vegetables and put them in a large bowl. Mix vegetables together in the bowl with your hands and transfer them into your jar.

In the same bowl, pour in the 3 cups of water. In a separate bowl or cup, mix vinegar and salt until the salt completely dissolves. Add this to your water, and stir. Add in the citric acid and sugar, and stir. Taste the brine to ensure the vinegar/salt ratio is ideal. Pour brine into the jar of vegetables and use a spoon or thin plastic spatula to release air bubbles by pushing down the sides all around the jar. If more brine is needed, make another batch.

Use leftover cabbage leaves or celery tops to keep the vegetables under the brine. Seal the jar.

Label the jar and set it aside at room temperature for at least 1-2 weeks (or longer), then transfer the jar to the refrigerator. Shake jar a few times for the first couple of days to distribute spices. Pickled vegetables are easy to add to salads, and make a delicious addition to vegetable platters or served as a lunch or dinner appetizer.

Storage: Pickled vegetables should keep in the refrigerator for about 2 months. Towards the end, the water is a lot more cloudy, but the vegetables are still crisp though not quite as good as at the beginning. To see this recipe made, go to: https://youtu.be/gRKGPrG8bQU.

The Vegan Armenian Kitchen Cookbook is $35 each. For more recipes or to order, visit www.veganarmeniankitchen.com.

See:

https://www.instagram.com/veganarmeniankitchen/.

http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-vegan-armenian-kitchen-cookbook-glendale/.

 

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