Albanian Cuisine: Turshi

To mix things up a little bit I thought I would throw some information at you about Albanian cuisine!

A co-worker of mine brought in some Turshi for me to try the other day. She described it as tomatoes and cucumbers left to sit in olive oil and salt for a week. Something like a left over salad but from a couple weeks ago, not lunch. Her recommendation was to enjoy it with some bread and meat. Despite the description, it was actually quite delicious and had a unique tartness compared to vinegar pickling.

Turshi (derived from the Persian word torsh, which means sour) describes a variety of pickled vegetables eaten in the Balkans and Middle East. Each region has its own method of pickling and variety of vegetables included in the dish. In Albanian, Turshi lëkurë,pickled cabbage, is more common in the south. Northern Turshi includes many of your typical salad vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers.

Here is a recipe for Turshi that is similar to what my co-worker described. You can find many different variations online. This recipe came from tasteofalbania.blogspot.com

Ingredients
Small chopped pieces of green tomatoes, red peppers, green cabbage, celery
Salt*
Will need bottles (soda 2 liter bottles to fine, but its better to find some with a large opening for it will be easier to fill)

Directions
Mix the cut pieces into a big bowl. Add the salt and place the mix, with your hands, in the jar. Shut the jar very tightly, and place in an undisturbed spot for 3-4 weeks.

*For one liter jars, add 50-60 gr. salt

Pictured below is some Turshi a co-work of mine made.

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