Oh Beet, how I love your bright jeweled color as well as your rich earthy taste. While most people, push you off to the side of the produce aisle, I toss you into my cart. As I push you around the store gathering inspiration I keep thinking about this recipe for Easy Pickled Beets.
Whenever I get a craving for pickled food I tend to buy them already pickled. Even though I grew up around a household of canners, I have yet to really give it a try. Honestly, I am scared of ruining a wonderful batch of produce, to a case of Botulism. Recently, I have been doing what I like to call, “small batch canning production”. I have made jam with plums and berries which is delightful on toast. Now I have made pickled beets.
The inspiration for this week’s recipe 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 watercress. I immediately came home with a wild idea to make pickled beets so I purchased canning jars and went to work.
This recipe is super simple. If you are afraid of canning or should I say nervous, this will definitely break the ice and now I have the canning bug.
I had hoped to use orange or golden yellow beets, but could only find red beets. I used white wine vinegar instead of cider or red wine, as that is what I had on hand. As well I kept the sugar content low; I did not want the beets to be overly sweet. Besides, beets have a naturally high sugar content, why add more? Then I tossed in some tarragon as it pairs so well with beets. I told you it would be simple!
How did they turn out? 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 and not overly astringent, which can happen with vinegar. They are lightly floral, thank you tarragon. They are absolutely perfect. I am sure my great-grandmother, grandmother and Tia would be proud.
- Sterile the jar before placing the beets into it even if you think you will eat quickly. Better safe than sorry. I am a freak about bacteria. You can wash the jar and lids with hot soapy water, place the still wet jar onto a clean baking sheet into a preheated oven (170) and let sit for 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the jar and lids cool until ready to use.
- Glass Jar big enough to fit 8 small beets.
Recipe: Easy Pickled Beets
8 smallish beets
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 sprigs tarragon
Scrub the beets and remove the greens.
Place the beets into a saucepan covered with cold water. Place on the stove and bring to a low simmer. Simmer the beets until they are fork tender.
It will depend on the size of your beets, but, it should take 45 – 60 minutes.
Remove the beets from the pot and immediately plunge into cold water.
Remove the outer skin using a paring knife.
Pat the beets dry with a paper towel, then cut them in half.
Place into a sterile jar.
In a small saucepan add the vinegar and sugar.
Bring to a boil.
Pour the mixture over the beets.
Tuck in the tarragon.
Seal the jar with a lid.
Let the jar of beets cool on the counter, then refrigerate for two days.