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I discovered the joy of eating beets later in life, long after a childhood of enduring the canned variety at the dinner table. Perhaps it was a textural thing but I wasn’t their biggest fan so as adult I scratched this hearty vegetable from my culinary landscape. That was until I met and fell in love with roasted beet salad several years ago. That love affair was soon followed by an deeper passion for pickled beets.
What’s great about pickled beets is you enjoy the vegetable’s natural sweetness along with a pleasant tang from the brine which makes them the perfect appetizer or snacks. They are also a killer accompaniment to sandwiches. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before I wanted to learn how to make pickled beets at home.
While the task may sound daunting, making pickled beets at home is an easy process that yields great results. You’ll want to start with cooked and peeled beets (you can slice them if you’d like) and a quick brine you can make with vinegar and spices. Here’s one of my favorite quick pickling recipes adapted from Michael’s Genuine Food you can make with red or golden beets:
2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 bay leaves (or curry leaves)
1 t mustard seeds (or cumin seeds)
Simply put all the ingredients in a stainless steel pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Put 2-4 sliced small beets in a sterilized glass jar, pour hot liquid on top so all of the beets are completely submerged. Cover with a sterilized lid and cool at room temp. Chill in the refrigerator. The beets will keep for months if completely submerged in liquid.
If you want to learn how to make pickled beets that have a longer shelf life here’s a great in-depth tutorial from The Gray Boxwood: