It doesn’t get much more basic in the kitchen than making pickled beets. It also doesn’t get much messier in the kitchen than when you’re making pickled beets. But if you’re up for eating some seriously good tasting veggies and you don’t mind yourself, and your kitchen, potentially looking like a scene out of Dexter…than you’re really going to be liking today’s post.
We probably eat more than our share of beets around here. I grew up with my mom making Harvard beets and remember eating so much of them I thought I was dying. I’ll keep this story on the nice side. Let’s just say that if you eat enough super duper high intensity red beets…well, what goes in, must come out…blah, blah, blah. Once you realize that you’re not dying, it’s all good. I’m not sure what Craig’s story is with beets, but he’s always asking me to get them when I go to the farmer’s market. (I’ll do that, but I draw the line when he asks me to pick up a couple of Dorito’s Locos Tacos for him on my way home.)
I lucked out this last week, because we were out of beets and out of nowhere (okay, it didn’t just magically appear on my doorstep in a puff of magic smoke, it was delivered by an actual human being…although delivery via unicorn would be pretty cool) I received a big box of organic produce. Turns out, Melissa’s Produce is now shipping different kinds of organic produce boxes. They were kind enough to send me one to play with and see how I liked it. I loved it!
I received the organic mixed vegetable and fruit 70 30 box. Going to the Melissa’s website, I was able to learn that they have 5 different boxes. There’s the one that I received that contained (all organic) kale, green leaf lettuce, celery, collard greens, rainbow chard, parsley, beets apples and pears (get it? 70/30?). But they’ve also got a 50/50 box, a green juice box (comes loaded with good juicing veggies), an all veggies box and an all fruit box. The boxes weigh 7-8 pounds and cost just $25, including shipping, for those that order and have it delivered in Southern California. Shipping is a bit higher for those outside the SoCal area.
You may have seen my earlier post, this week, about the homemade pasta disaster. Yep, that pretty rainbow chard (not the great green blob of pasta dough) was from this box of goodies. (Wish I had seen Nancy’s recipe for Rainbow Relish…I might have been able to salvage some part of that poor vegetable.) I have to say, the veggies in this box looked as good or (in a few cases – like the chard, lettuce and collards) better than what I’ve been getting at my local farmer’s market. The quantity in the box was great for the 2 of us (we eat A LOT of vegetables). But it would work really well for a family of 4 too. Not too much, not too little.
But back to the beets. I’ve been making loads of roasted beets this year and thought it might be a nice change of pace to break out the vinegar and make up a batch of pickled beets. Sure, you could go with a basic vinegar, sugar and pickling spice pickled beets recipe…but what fun is that? If you don’t mix things up a little bit in the kitchen, it gets really boring. So I opted to go all fancy schmancy with my pickled beets. Oh, they’re still really easy to make, they’ve just got more flavor to them than sour and sweet. Just take a look at all the great stuff on that tray, in the picture above, and you’ll see what flavors are in there.
There’s a few more ingredients to this pickled beets recipe than the easy pickled banana peppers recipe I posted last summer, but the process is basically the same and it’s still ridiculously easy. And whether you eat the beets pickled, roasted or in your favorite juice recipe you still get all the amazing health benefits of beets (and there’s a lot of them).
So why not get yourself one of these big boxes of organic fruits and veggies (save yourself a trip to the store or market) and make up a batch of these pickled beets. Don’t be a baby…just put on that apron (that you never wear because you continue to kid yourself that you’re not a messy cook), throw on some gloves (so you don’t look like you did a bad job of cleaning up a crime scene) and make up a jar of these babies. We’ve been eating them straight out of the jar, but they’d be great on a salad or burger, as a side dish to a rich beef recipe or well…straight out of the jar. Don’t toss the juice because you could throw in more beets or some of those hard boiled eggs you’ll be making up for Easter. YUM!
- 1 Pound Beets
- 1 Cup Cider Vinegar
- ½ Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Red Onion (sliced thin)
- 1 Head Fennel (trimmed and sliced thin)
- 2" Fresh Ginger (peeled and julienned)
- 1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary
- Fill a large saucepan with water and heat to boiling.
- Wash the beets thoroughly and cut off the leaves.
- Once water begins to boil, carefully drop the beets into the pot.
- Boil for 1 - 1½ hours, just until the beets begin to soften.
- Once softened, remove from water and let cool until you can handle them.
- Carefully peel beets and slice into ½" - 1" cubes.
- While the beets are boilng, add the rest of the ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling and the sugar has dissolved, reduce to a simmer and cover.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Discard the rosemary.
- In a large jar, alternate layering the cubed beets with the vinegar mixture.
- Pour the remaining liquid into the jar.
- Carefully stir to combine everything.
- Leave the lid off of the jar until it cools down to room temperature.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight.
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