Quick-Pickled Beets

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Nell Abercrombie, Communications & Events

Vinegar pickling is an easy, quick way to preserve vegetables, and the deep earthy sweetness of beets pairs deliciously with vinegar's tart acidity.

These pickled beets would make a delicious snack on their own, or easily bring complexity and brightness to salads. Toss them with greens or legumes, or serve them alongside a rich main dish. Once you've eaten the beets, blend the remaining brine with olive oil for amazing salad dressing, or use it to finish soups and other  dishes.

Over time, vinegar can react with metal and rust metal lids. An easy fix is to cover the mouths of your jars with a piece of parchment paper, and close with the canning lid ring or a rubber band. 

Ingredients:

For the beets and brine:

  • 7 cups beets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water

For your spice blend:

  • 1 small white onion, slivered 
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons whole spices, such as coriander, allspice, or dill - or let your inspiration guide you!
  • Several whole garlic cloves or bay leaves
  • 2 - 3 tsp salt
  • 2 - 3 tsp sugar (optional)

Putting it all together:

  • 2 1-quart canning jars
  • 2 small pieces of parchment paper
  • Canning jar lids or rubber bands

Directions:

  1. Wash the beets and cut them into bite-size pieces. Place them in a large, non-reactive pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine your spice blend and divide it between each of the canning jars. If you want to, add a couple of garlic cloves and/or bay leaves to each jar as well.
  3. Remove the beets from the pot and drain. Discard the cooking liquid, or save it for a flavorful, nutritious soup base. Divide the beets between each of the canning jars, alternating with the sliced onions.
  4. Combine the water and vinegar in the now-empty pot, and bring it to a boil. Pour into the canning jars until the beets are covered.
  5. Cap your jars, and store in the fridge for several days - if you can wait that long!

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