How to Pickle Beets
Botanical Names: Beta vulgaris
There are several different ways to pickle beets. It really depends on how quickly and how often they are needed for your consuming pleasure. Here is a quick, simple way to pickle beets so that they can be eaten for dinner tonight.
Keep in mind that pickling will take about 30 minutes to gain flavor – if it is done the day prior the flavor will become more enhanced.
3 cups of steamed beets, sliced
1 small red onion (or preferred choice)
½ cup of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp of sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole peppercorns
2 whole cloves
Steaming beets can either be done on the stove or in the microwave – whatever your preferred choice is. In preparing the beets, remove the stems and remove the outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Slice into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. On the stove, simply place in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes until the beets are fork tender. In the microwave, place in a baking dish (that is microwave safe) with several inches of water; cover. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove cover to see if beets are tender. If not, continue cooking process til preferred consistency. Set beets aside until ready to use. Can be covered and placed in frig for up to a week in advance.
Combine all the ingredients above, except for the beets, in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling. Boiling vinegar can clear the sinuses – so keep face and nose a good distance away. Cover the boiling mixture for 4 to 6 minutes. Check to see if onions are cooked to your preference – if not continue to cook until onion are the desired crispness.
Once the pickling mixture has boiled for 4 to 6 minutes and the onion are cooked to your satisfaction. Remove the liquid from the stove, pour over streamed beets, cover and place in frig for 30 minutes to cool and marinate. Marinating can be done longer if desired as well.
Pickled beets are a great substitute instead of other acidic side components such as pickles. They taste nothing like the pickled beets that are purchased at the grocery store. Growing your own beets, ensure they high quality freshness, but purchasing them at local farmer markets is ideal as well. Remember to save the greens for other recipes that can be created later in the week such as streaming them like spinach to make a creamed beet greens dish or roasted them like kale to create chips.
There are several different recipes for pickling. It is fun to mix different recipes together or start with one and make minor adjustments to change the flavor to my liking.
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