My Aunt Nina’s grandmother, Liza from Karabakh, used to make this using mountain spring water, and the taste of those pickles was incomparable. Here, beetroot is often added to Armenian pickles for color, which is similar to how they're made in the Middle East. These pickles are delicious and we eat them in the summer and in winter. You can buy horseradish leaves and dill stalks in bunches from Polish delis specially for pickling, but if you can’t find them (or the blackcurrant and cherry leaves), just substitute with some spices or aromatics that you like (celery would be great) or simply leave them out.
Recipe from Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine & beyond by Olia Hercules.
Photography by Kris Kirkham, published by Mitchell Beazley, £25, www.octopusbooks.co.uk. —Olia Hercules
a 5 1/4-pint (3-liter) jar
beetroots, peeled and sliced into discs
small white cabbage, sliced into wedges
(200 grams) mixed runner beans or French beans, tailed
head of wet (new) garlic, left whole, outer layer peeled
Place the beetroot at the bottom of a warm, sterilized 3 1/2-pint (2-liter) preserving jar, then top with the cabbage wedges, beans, spring onions, garlic, and all the aromatics, apart from the salt and peppercorns.
Bring the water, salt, and peppercorns to a boil in a saucepan, then pour over the vegetables. Make sure everything is submerged, then seal and leave in a warm part of your kitchen (25° C/77° F) for about 3 days to pickle, then store in the refrigerator. The beetroot will gradually turn everything a deep pink. It should keep unopened for several months.