I’m running out of ideas for the beets. I was backed up with a couple of shares worth already in my refrigerator, then my husband picked all the beets out of our garden. So in addition to roasting some for salads this week, and roasting then freezing some for unknown future applications, I pickled a bunch.
Pickled beets are VERY midwestern. We never had them in my own house (in fact I never remember having beets in my home at all growing up), but I do remember them being around – at summer picnics, at potlucks, at block parties. I’m told that they are a southern food staple as well.
My interest in pickled beets was largely pragmatic at this point – I had to come up with something to do with them so that they would keep for a while, and this fit the bill. I haven’t done much of this pickling business, but I suspect that this recipe is really very flexible. You need the right ratio of sugar to vinegar to pickling spice, and you can pretty well invent your own pickle from there. I’d recommend adding in any of the following flavors in the form of spice or solids:
How to do it:
Start with a bunch of beets. I have a mandolin, so I like to peel and slice my beets first for that nice even thin slice, but you could easily reverse the order here. Peel and slice beets. Boil until desired softness. Obviously, if you boil first, expect it to take 40 minutes or so, whereas the sliced beets only take 15.
In a saucepan, mix 1/2 C sugar, 1/2 C water, 1 C cider vinegar, and some pickling spice. You can use anywhere from 1/2 tsp to 2 Tbs depending on how much you like the taste of standard pickles. Bring to a boil. Add in any additional flavors that you are going for. Mix beets and sauce in a jar and put into the fridge. Pickled beets taste best after a couple of days and last for over a month. I’ll be adding mine to burgers and salads, and will be serving pickle platters at every get together for the next little while.