I had pickled beets for lunch today and they were one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. I don’t know how I managed to make it so long in life without knowing how great beets are.
A quick search on the internet reveals multiple pickling recipes, but all have some commonality: Boil, steam, or roast beets until tender. Boil a mixture of 1 c sugar, 1 c water, 1 c vinegar, and 1 tsp of salt, along with whatever spices you like (scale up depending on how many beets you’re pickling). Jar and wait.
The actual details vary a bit. Some recommend white vinegar, others cider. Some people can, whilst other just put it in the fridge and eat it quickly. Soak times vary from 1 hour to 1 week.
Here is the recipe I used:
3 beets with 1 inch of stem and whole root in place
1 cup water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp whole cloves
juice and zest of 1/4 meyer lemon
1/2 beet boil water
Wash and scrub beets. Cover with water in a pot and boil 20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the pickling liquid (minus beet water) for 1 minute. When beets are fork tender, remove from boil water (but save the water!), rinse in cool water, and rub skin off. Cut off the tops of the beets and the thin bit of the root. Slice beets to 1/4 inch and drop in a 1 quart mason jar. Add 1/2 cup of beet boil water to pickling liquid and pour into jar.
My beets are now pickling in the fridge; no use canning for 1 quart jar. I will taste them in a day or two and thereafter to determine optimal pickling time. The pickling liquid itself was so great, I could just drink that. I think that’s what you want to shoot for. Next time I will use more beets. Also the remaining beet boil water looks just like the borscht I had in Poland. I might drink that later.
Do this and enjoy! Don’t be surprised if your pee turns red.