Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pickled Beets

Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. There. I said it. Yep, I really like 'em. Seems beets have their share of haters. If you find yourself in the hater category, I say: you just haven't had them prepared correctly.

The humble but versatile beet can be boiled, roasted or pickled, eaten hot or cold, plain, with butter or spiced. And in a root cellar or fridge, beets can last months.

When beets are ready to harvest, we look forward to storing a few, roasting a few and pickling the rest. Pickled beets make a quick side dish and a perfect foil for rich foods (like mac & cheese).

Harvested beets. They don't look edible. Just wait!

Beets get a rinse outside. Looking better!

To preserve: 

Beets get a hot bubble bath, then peeled.
Wash beets, and remove all but one inch of the greens just above the bulb. Place in a pot, cover with water bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered for 45 minutes. Drain beets, rinse with cool water and when cool enough to handle, remove skins (no knife required!). 

Carefully add the brine, leaving headspace.
Combine brine ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. In the mean time, slice or cube beets and distribute them between clean, hot jars. Remove spices and pour brine over beets leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust lids and rings and process.  

Remove jars from canner and cool for 12 hours. When cool remove rings, wipe jars and store in a cool, dry place. Unsealed jars should be refrigerated and consumed within a few days. 

Beet Pickles

from The Ball Blue Book
3 quarts beets (abut 24 small)
2 cups sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
1 Tbsp whole allspice
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

Wash & cook beets. Drain, cool slightly and peel. Combine all ingredients except beets in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cinnamon and allspice. Pack beets into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle hot liquid over beets leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Adjust two piece caps. Process pints and quarts for 30 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Yield: 6 pints or 3 quarts


  1. I'm not crazy about beets unless they are pickled. I love them in salads or on the side.

    1. I like pickled beets but, for a warm side, I like roasted beets. Caramelized and sweet!

  2. I can't wait to try pickling my own beets - thank you for sharing!