pickled beets

Pickled Beets

Pickled Beets

I love beets in all sorts of dishes. The bright color and earthy flavor appeal to me. They are so versatile. Beets are great in soups, salads and even desserts. One of my favorite ways to prepare beets is to pickle them.

Last week, I was lucky enough to get some really beautiful organic beets at a local produce market. I made beet soup and beet cake and enjoyed the greens steamed.

I had enough beets left to pickle some. This simple preparation makes them perfect to add to salads, or to enjoy on their own. They will keep in the fridge for weeks and weeks. I sometimes serve pickled beets with cheese and crackers as an appetizer.

I cooked my beets by just boiling them whole until tender, but you can also roast them. Once cooked, just let them cool a little and slip off the skins. Then just dice them up and add the dressing. They will taste better after a few days in the fridge. It gives the dressing a chance to get into the beets and onion and give them that pickled flavor. Feel free to add other seasonings. I had some fresh dill, so that is what I used.

Pickled Beets 

2 lbs. beets, greens trimmed off, leaving 1 inch of the stem

1 red onion, peeled and sliced thin

1 c. cider vinegar

1/2 c. sugar- more or less to suit your taste*

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T. fresh dill snipped, or 1 t. dried

2 t. salt

1 t. fresh ground pepper

1/2 t. celery seed

dash of hot sauce

Cook beets whole until tender. I boiled my beets in a large pot of water for about 35 minutes- they were kind of big. You could roast them, if you prefer. Place in cold water for 5 minutes, then remove from the water and slip off the skins. They usually come off easily, but you might have to peel them. Dice into 1/2 -inch cubes and place in a bowl. Add the onion. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the beets. Stir to combine, cover and place in fridge. These are ready to eat in a couple of days. Keep for weeks.

*You can also omit the sugar altogether- they will be very tart- but still tasty.

Spicy Pickled Beets

Spicy Pickled Beets

Beets are just one of those foods. People seem to love them, or hate them. I am a beet lover. I enjoy them in all sorts of dishes. The nice thing about making a batch of pickled beets is being able to open up a jar whenever you want.

This recipe is a pretty classic way to preserve beets. The brine is a sweet and sour mixture with pickling spice, salt and red pepper flakes for added flavor. You could play around with the seasonings a little. Maybe adding more heat.

Pickled beets are great served as a side dish with all sorts of foods. I like them served with cheeses, crackers and other pickled foods as an appetizer. If you don’t want to can them- you can store them in the fridge for up to a couple of months.

 

Spicy Pickled Beets

 

4 lbs. beets, smaller sizes preferred

3 c. thin sliced onions

2 c. sugar

2 T. Pickling spice

1 T. canning salt

2 t. red pepper flakes

2½ c. cider vinegar- 5% acidity

1½ c. water

 

Wash and trim beets, leaving a couple inches of stem attached. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool beets down so you can handle them. Peel beets and cut into 1½- 2-inch diameter pieces, if beets are large. Leave whole if beets are small. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer 5 more minutes. Add beets and cook a few minutes, until beets are warmed through. Ladle hot beets into clean pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Ladle in hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe off rim, screw on lid to finger-tip tightness. Repeat with remaining beets and liquid. You should fill about 5 pint jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave jars in water bath 5 minutes before removing to counter to cool.  Yield: 5 pints.

Adapted from The Ball Blue Book

Spiced Pickled Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets

Beets are just one of those foods. People seem to love them or hate them. I am a beet lover. I also have a dear friend who is a beet lover. Her birthday is later this month, so I made her a batch of pickled beets. Trust me, she will be thrilled. This recipe is a pretty classic way to preserve beets. The brine is a sweet and sour mixture with pickling spice, salt and red pepper flakes for added flavor. You could play around with the seasonings a little. Maybe adding more heat. For my friend, these will be spicy enough. Pickled beets are great served as a side dish with all sorts of foods. I like them served with cheeses, crackers and other pickled foods as an appetizer. If you don’t want to can them- you can store them in the fridge for up to a couple of months.

 

Spicy Pickled Beets

 

4 lbs. beets, smaller sizes preferred

3 c. thin sliced onions

2 c. sugar

2 T. Pickling spice

1 T. canning salt

2 t. red pepper flakes

2½ c. cider vinegar- 5% acidity

1½ c. water

 

Wash and trim beets, leaving a couple inches of stem attached. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool beets down so you can handle them. Peel beets and cut into 1½- 2-inch diameter pieces, if beets are large. Leave whole if beets are small. Set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and simmer 5 more minutes. Add beets and cook a few minutes, until beets are warmed through. Ladle hot beets into clean pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Ladle in hot liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe off rim, screw on lid to finger-tip tightness. Repeat with remaining beets and liquid. You should fill about 5 pint jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave jars in water bath 5 minutes before removing to counter to cool.  Yield: 5 pints.

 

Adapted from Ball Blue Book