Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Pickled Beets

As usual when I manage to grow something successfully, I have a bit of freedom to experiment.  I needed some greens for a pizza, and they happened to be attached to three beets that were small, but ready to pull.  (I had to toss Kale.  She was too yummy and every bug in the neighborhood decided to move in.)

I'm not sure I've ever had a pickled beet.  Canned, yes.  They sounded good.  I looked up a recipe in the Ball Book of Preserving, then went and found Alton Brown's.  This is somewhere between, since I did not plan to process these and didn't have to worry about acid levels or sterilizing.  This recipe fits under the "refrigerator pickle" category.

But I did do a lot of canning that day.  Cherries were cheap, so I bought two pounds.  One was for jam and the other for whole cherries in syrup.  A pound of strawberries made two half-pints of strawberry-vanilla jam, and my "red" spring jamming was done.  I still have some blackberry-rhubarb and meyer lemon jams in the pantry.  Apricots were on sale this week, so more jam is happening and will be posted soon.  This will be plenty to get me through next month's tea party, and probably most of the summer.

And apparently this is my 700th post.  Not bad for almost six years, especially with how little I've been posting lately.

3 medium beets
1 large red onion
1/2 C white wine vinegar
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C water
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
olive oil

1.  Wash beets and trim, leaving most of root and 1" of stem attached to reduce juice bleeding.  Rub with just enough olive oil to coat and seal in a foil pouch with rosemary and the ends of the onion.  Roast at 400º until softened, about 40 minutes.

2.  When cool enough to handle, cut off root and stem ends and rub off skins.  Discard flavorings with the foil.  Slice as desired, or even leave whole.  I cut mine in bite-sized pieces.

3.  French the onion, which means cutting it in half the "wrong" way, from stem to root ends, then slicing to get long strips.  This is as opposed to making rings for burgers.

4.  In a quart container, layer beet slices and onion.  If you're an onion fanatic like I am, getting pickled red onion out of this recipe is a bonus.

5.  In a small saucepan, combine vinegars, water, salt, sugar, and thyme.  If you have a favorite pickling spice, toss it in.  I added a couple of juniper berries from the corned beef.  Bring to a low boil and continue to cook until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Pour over beets, cover, and refrigerate 3 to 7 days before eating.

Difficulty rating  π

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