Oh Beet, how I love you. While most people, push you off to the side as you lay there helpless in the produce isle, I take you in. I grab you eagerly off of the shelve and lay you in my cart. Smiling. Happy. Thinking of all the possibilities.
Usually I pick up a jar of pickled beets when the craving arrives or a recipe calls for them. Even though I grew up around a household of canners, I have yet to really give it a try. I am a little scared of ruining a wonderful batch of fresh produce, to a case of Botulism. Lately, I have been doing what I like to call, “small batch production”. I have made some jam with plums; delightful on toast. And now I have made pickled beets.
The inspiration for this weeks Summer Fest, came from a salad we recently had at a favorite hangout. It was made with simple house-cured pickled beets, a little shallot dressing and cress. Delightful. I went home immediately, and purchased canning jars and started a small batch of pickled beets.
This recipe is simple. If you are afraid of canning or should I say nervous, this will definitely break the ice. I had hoped to use orange or golden yellow beets, but could only find my friend, the red beet. That was okay as I knew she would still delight me with the earthiness I craved. I used white wine vinegar instead of cider or red wine, as I wanted the recipe a bit lighter. As well I kept the sugar content low; I did not want my friend the beet to be overly sweet. Besides, beets have a naturally high sugar content anyhow, why add more? Then I tossed in tarragon. Tarragon plays nicely with beets and we are just really into tarragon right now. Simple, isn’t it?
How are they? Wonderful, so much so, we have been enjoying them straight from the jar. They haven’t even made it into a recipe yet. They are still crisp. They are not overly astringent, which can happen with too much or the wrong vinegar. They are lightly floral, thank you to tarragon. They are perfect. I am sure my great-grandmother, grandmother and Tias would be proud.
Have you tried canning at home? Favorite recipe with beets?
** Be sure to visit the Food Network Summer Fest bloggers to see what other delicious recipes you can make with beets this season. Next week will be all about apples!
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Roasted Beet and Apple Walnut Salad With Honey Yogurt Dressing
What’s Gaby Cooking: Beet, Corn and Quinoa Salad
Chez Us: Pickled Beets
From My Corner of Saratoga: Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon
Feed Me Phoebe: Spaghetti With Beet Greens and Blistered Tomatoes
Virtually Homemade: Orange Roasted Chicken With Beets and Green Beans
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Beet and Avocado Salad With Meyer Lemon Marmalade Vinaigrette
Thursday Night Dinner: Beet, Carrot and Ginger Soup
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Beets
Cooking With Books: Roasted Beets, Carrots and Goat Cheese Tartine
FN Dish: Better Beets