I love beets. A lot. They’re fun to grow, delicious to eat, and they dye your fingers (and insides) red.
Pretty much every week I buy a bunch of beets at the farmer’s market (our beet production isn’t quite up to snuff, but there are some in the ground now). Even though I keep telling myself I’ll do something new with that week’s bunch, I inevitably add them to one of my jars of pickled beets in the fridge. Carson and I eat them all the time and the brine stays good for months, so it’s an easy way to enjoy them. Here’s how to pickle your own beets.
- As many beets as you want to pickle
- Apple cider vinegar
- Purified water
- Cinnamon stick
- Whole cloves
- Whole black peppercorns
- Red onion (optional)
- Garlic cloves (optional)
Peel if desired, and cut the beets to the size you want your pickles. Steam or boil the beets. After boiling for about 5 minutes, remove one with a fork and pop it in your mouth. Keep tasting them until you’ve reached the desired texture (I like mine a little crunchy, so I usually boil for 5-7 minutes). Drain and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, prepare a brine that is equal parts apple cider vinegar and water (I use water from our Brita). Depending on the batch size and how sweet you like it, add anywhere from 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup sugar. Add 6-7 whole peppercorns, 2-3 whole cloves, and the cinnamon stick. If desired, add 1-2 peeled garlic cloves and/or thinly sliced red onions. Throw the beets in a container (I use Mason jars), refrigerate, and enjoy your pink fingers! (Don’t worry, it wears off quickly.)
These are ready to eat in 24 hours. Since I keep adding new beets to the brine I have no idea how long they last, but I’d say they’re good for at least a month and probably longer. We mostly put these on salads with goat cheese and a vinaigrette or honey mustard dressing, but I often eat them by themselves.
Next time I’ll share what I finally did with the bunch of beets I managed to avoid pickling.