DIY: Homemade Lebanese Pickled Turnips

Last time my mom visited me, I learned how to make the simple Lebanese pickles that I love: just cucumbers, vinegar, salt, and garlic.

This time around, I wanted to take it to the next level by learning how to make delicious Lebanese pickled turnips (“lefet”). It’s so easy, and so worth it. Should take 20-30 minute tops! A perfect project for a rainy afternoon that will feel so satisfying. Here’s the recipe:


  • 4 large turnips
  • 1 small beet
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • One loaf of pita bread
  • 1.5 tsp sugar, heaping
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp rock salt, heaping
  • 1 Large jar, about 2 qt.


1. Place a layer of pita bread at the bottom of the jar. This should cover the base.

2. Pour 1 tsp of sugar over the bread.

3. Peel and cut one beet in half, then quarter that half. Place one piece on the bread and sugar, and save one piece for later. Add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar into the jar.

4. Peel and slice the turnips.  You want thin slices that aren’t too large. Place the turnips in a wide pan.

5. In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water and 4 tbsp of rock salt to a boil. As the water begins to get hot, stir the salt until it melts completely.

6. Pour the water over the turnips. Make sure all the pieces are in the water. Let the, rest in the hot water for a minute or two.

7. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the turnip pieces to the jar. Press down with the spoon so they’re compact and you can add more.

8. Pour the hot water into the jar to cover the turnips completely. Press down again to make sure it’s compact. Discard any water remaining.

9. Add the second beet piece on top of the turnips, and press it down with a wooden spoon. Watch with delight as the water begins to turn pink.

Around 15 minutes after sealing the jar
A little less than two hours after sealing the jar

10. Seal the jar and wait 10-12 days keeping it at room temperature before opening it again. Refrigerate after opening.


Here’s my family’s recipe for the perfect cucumber pickles.

DIY: Homemade Pickles

Michelle Chahine Sinno Mornings With Minjay Pickles

Last week, my mom was visiting and I took the opportunity to make homemade pickles with her. I find most canned pickles available in stores to be too sweet (and with unnecessary added sugar). As a kid, I used to love the pickles at home that my mom used to make, based on my grandma’s recipe. I don’t know if it would be accurate to call them “Lebanese Pickles,” but they are definitely a staple from growing up there.

It’s been so exciting to see the pickle jars on my kitchen counter the past few days (It’s the small things in life, after all). I can’t wait to pop one open later this week and try them out.

Here’s the recipe for one large jar (around 37-40oz. For reference, I used the IKEA Burken Jar and doubled the recipe to make 2 jars total).

  • 1 C water
  • 1 Tbsp rock salt (not heaping)
  • 1 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lb small Persian cucumbers (easily found at Trader Joe’s)

Place the water in a saucepan on high heat and stir in the rock salt until it melts. When the water boils, add the vinegar and return to boil. As soon as it does, remove from heat and cool completely. 

Michelle Chahine Sinno work life balance recipes

When the mixture is cooled, slice the cumbers and add them into the jar.

Peel one large garlic clove (or two small ones) and add on top of the cucumbers.

Cucumber pickles homemade recipe

Pour the water-salt-vinegar mixture into the jar. Cover with an air-tight lid. Wait 5-6 days and then refrigerate after opening.

Michelle Chahine Sinno Pickles

(Note: I took this photograph right when I sealed the jar. The green color will wilt significantly once pickled).



If you’re new to this blog, read my first 2 posts in this series: