Enjoy the earthy sweetness of beets for many weeks to come by preparing this simple pickled beet recipe.
Beets were one of those vegetables that always seemed to be in the refrigerator when I was growing up, yet they never got a lot of fanfare. If we didn't have the fresh variety, there was always a jar of pickled beets hidden somewhere behind the condiments.
Mostly I recalled them making an appearance during the holidays, but they were such a mainstay that, when I moved out and began living on my own, I too had a jar of pickled beets in the refrigerator. Though they remained sealed most of the time. That was until I picked up a bunch of fresh beets on a whim and started adding them to side dishes and cooking with them again.
I was reminded why I liked them in the first place. Their natural sweetness and earthy flavour brought back memories from childhood and I've been buying them regularly ever since. I can't always use them up fast enough; however, which lead me to experiment with this faux pickling recipe.
Though these beets are not actually preserved, they will last for up to 3 months refrigerated. Long enough to make it through the winter and into the early days of spring. You will need either 1 very large jar, or other airtight container to keep them in, however.
TIP: You can use a tablespoon of store-bought pickling spice in place of the individual spices listed in this recipe.
TIP: You can boil the beets with the peels on and rub the skins off after they have boiled. However, I find this method messy and it just makes your hands even more stained by beet juice than they need to be.
TIP: Rub your cutting board with a little vegetable oil before cutting beets to keep the juice from staining.
TIP: You can easily scale this recipe up the more beets you have. If you want to actually preserve your beets, you'll need proper canning jars with lids. Sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them first for several minutes. After the beets and brine are in (leave a 1/4" space at the top of the jar) seal the jars and again bring them to a boil before leaving them on the counter to come to room temperature. As the jars cool, they should create a seal. Any that don't should be stored in the refrigerator and used first. The rest will last for years in your pantry.
(Makes 8 servings)
8 beets, peeled
cold water, enough to cover beets
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 cup cold water
3 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Wash the jar or container in very hot water. Allow to dry then add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds, garlic, peppercorns, clove and bay leaf to the jar.
Place the peeled beets in a large pot and cover with cold water. Boil on high heat for 30 minutes until the beets start becoming fork tender. Douse the beets in cold water to cool them before slicing them into 1/4" pieces or 1/8th wedges. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, being the brine ingredients to a boil then remove from heat.
Add the beets to the jar. If the jar has gotten too cold, carefully run hot water over the outside before filling with the brine.
CAUTION: Putting boiling liquid into a cold container can cause it to crack.
Close the jar and leave it on the counter until it comes to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator. After cooling the jar may seem to seal; however, keep in mind the jar was not properly sterilized, and these beets are not preserved.
After a few days, enjoy as a side dish.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 47 | total fat = 0.2g | saturated fat = 0.02g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 629.44mg | carbohydrates = 11.52g | dietary fibre = 1.22g | sugars = 10g | protein = 0.96g