I was at Matarazzo’s farm stand in Caldwell buying up all the apples I could to make and preserve applesauce when I started perusing the beets. I learned that beets are “coming up” and now is the time to buy.
One of my favorite items in a salad is beets, but for some reason I just can’t eat them out of a can. So, I’ve decided to make my own. This is a first for me. I have to be honest here– I read the recipe about six times before it really made sense to me. I’m going to simplify what I have as much as possible but this should be easier to follow than what I started with. And, if you want to try making pickled beets without the canning/hot water bath process, here is a recipe for making them in the refrigerator.
Not sure what to do with pickled beets? See the recipe below.
What you need:
Canning supplies– canner, jars and lids with bands
10 cups of beets
4 Tbsp of pickling spice
5 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
Prepare your beets (the beets need to be cooked ahead of time)
- Leave the root and 2 inches of the stem intact to prevent bleeding.
- Scrub thoroughly and sort by size, placing larger beets on the bottom of a saucepan and smallest on top.
- Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the beets.
- Remove beets from saucepan as they are cooked and run under cool running water.
- Drain and slip off the skins and remove root and stems.
- Leave baby beets whole and halve or quarter larger beets.
Prepare your pickling liquid:
- Tie pickling spice in a square of cheesecloth, creating a spice bag. (I found pickling spice in Shoprite)
- In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until spices have infused liquid.
- Discard spice bag.
- Add prepared beets and return mixture to a boil.
Fill your jars:
- Remove jars from dishwasher- be sure they are hot- you will be pouring boiling liquid into them.
- Using a slotted spoon, ladle beets into hot jars to within a generous 1/2″ top of jar.
- Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover beets, leaving 1/2″ head space.
- Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight.
- Place jars in canner and be sure they are completely covered with water.
- Bring to a boil and process for 30 minutes.
- Lift jars from water and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove jars and let cool.
Here is a recipe from home chef Palma Quagliata for a beet salad using pickled beets. There are no specific measurements, but that leaves plenty of room for creativity and experimentation, Enjoy!
In a glass bowl, mix together:
- Sliced or small chunks of beets ( I prefer the chunks)
- Thin sliced red onion (1/4-1/2 of an onion depending on your taste)
- Handful of chopped parsley
- Crumbled blue or goat or feta cheese
- Good olive oil
- Season to taste with salt & pepper