For The Love of Beets

I love beets.  I love their flavor.  I love their texture.  They are my favorite vegetable.  A magic word combination on a restaurant menu is “beets and goat cheese”.  Yum!  And I LOVE pickled beets.  Just simply pickled and vinegar-y, with a touch of sweetness.  At any salad bar, I would make a bee-line for the pickled beets to top my salad.  Imagine my disappointment when every pickled beet recipe I came across and every wonderful friend who ever gifted me a jar just was not up to snuff.  So yes, I am also a beet snob.  They were too sweet and full of too many spices.  So I never bothered making them.

Enter “Food In Jars” by Marisa McClellan.  I can not thank her enough for including this pickled beet recipe!  It is everything I have always looked for in a pickled beet – vinegar-y with a touch of sweetness and a hint of ginger.  So I must share it with you!  This recipe has no modifications, which is unusual for me.  I often make changes to either make the recipe my own, incorporate unusual ingredients, or make them safe for canning.  None of these were necessary here!

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Gingery Pickled Beets                                                                           Makes approximately (3) 1-pint Jars
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 Pounds Beets, Any Color
  • 2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 T. Pickling or Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar (Preferably Organic)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • (1) 2-inch Piece of Fresh Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Scrub the beets, removing the greens and long roots.  Place the beets in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, and simmer until the beets are just tender, about 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your beets.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  when the beets are cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with your fingers.  (Wear plastic gloves to avoid stained hands.)  Cut the beets into wedges and set aside.

Prepare a boiling water bath and 4 regular mouth 1 pint jars.  (Going off recipe for a minute – if you do not know this process, refer to Marisa’s post at her blog for details).  One change I would recommend – let them sit in the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes before filling with anything in order to thoroughly sterilize them.

In a pot, combine the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, cinnamon stick, and ginger slices.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat to low until ready to use.

Jars filled with beets, ready for the addition of the brine.
Jars filled with beets, ready for the addition of the brine.

Pack your beet wedges into sterilized jars.  slowly pour the hot brine over the beets in each jar, making sure to tuck 2-3 ginger slices into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Use a wooden chopstick and gently poke it around the edge of the jar interior to dislodge any bubbles.  Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.

Wipe the rims with a damp paper towel, apply the lids, tighten the rings finger tight, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, if between sea level and 1,000 feet in altitude.  For avery additional 2,000 feet of altitude, add 5 minutes to the processing time.  (e.g: If you live at 5,000 feet, your processing time would be 20 minutes).  And if you live in the tropics, process everything for 20 minutes!

– from “Food In Jars”, by Marisa McClellan

I find that these beets are delicious within a couple of days, but TRY to let them cure for a week before enjoying.  Confession time – after taking the first picture of the full jar of beets, I promptly ate the ENTIRE jar.

All gone!
All gone!
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Author:

Small Batch Canner, Part Time Crafter, Chef, and Artist

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