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Pickled Beets

plllog
2 months ago

Pickled beets came up in the cabbage thread. I am not a canner, and while I've made fridge pickles, I don't have much of a clue beyond my pickled zucchini recipe. OTOH, I used to spend good money on imported small pickled beets because they were so delicious, and actually nutrious compared to candy. I cook beets and beet greens—and the beets we get are pretty large, unlike the two bite pickled beets I loved.


So, totally clueless, I throw the question to you: How do you pickle beets? Sliced, julienned, or whole? Sweet? Vinegary (sour)? Savory? Hot? With herbs? With seeds? With peppers?

Comments (20)

  • beesneeds
    2 months ago

    I like to do slices, sticks, or wedges depending on the size of the beet. So it's a bite of pickle. I tend not to do shred, julienne, or other fine cut. I can always mince up a bigger pickle, but I don't use a small cut as much as a bigger pickle with beets. I find sticks easier to pack neatly into jars than dice- and I can always dice sticks later.

    I tend to go savory- a vinegar pickle. I've done traditional pickling spices, mulling spices, ginger, soy and rice vinegar (great with a wee hot pepper using golden beets)... ginger and apple cider is also great. There was a smokey batch in there, I think I added liquid smoke. Sometimes I've added in hot pepper, sometimes not.

    Carrots and radishes can pickle/can up similar to beets. So if you find a pickling recipe for those and like the flavor profile, you can apply that profile to beets. I started off using the small batch recipies from Marisa McClellan, and have adjusted flavor profiles from there.

    plllog thanked beesneeds
  • CA Kate z9
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I buy beets already in a can or jar and then use my recipe for the B&B pickles... both taste really good and easy to make

    CHERRY PICKLED BEETS

    2 15 oz. cans of sliced beets, drained ) reuse the jar if available.

    Same as above.... (below)

    Cherry Pickled DIll Pickles

    1 qt. dill pickles (with no garlic! very important) drained,

    rinsed and cut as desired

    2 cups sugar

    2/3 cup cider vinegar

    2 Tbsp. pickling spices

    Boil mixture of sugar, vinegar and spices for one minute. Leave sit for awhile.

    Return prepared pickles to old jar or another one. While straining out spices pour the steeped, spiced liquid over pickles to cover.

    Cover tightly in jar. Keeps for months

    I know this all sounds too easy, yes, but as good as I've ever made "proper" - read it: it takes a lot of work; and great recipes are always the best.

    plllog thanked CA Kate z9
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  • annie1992
    2 months ago

    What I can depends on what I have. If I have baby beets, I can them whole. Medium sized ones get quartered or cut into 6 wedges. Large ones get sliced. I use the pickled beet recipe that Grandma used, it's kind of a sweet/sour combo, with some pickling spice.


    Annie

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  • chloebud
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    This is about my speed for pickled beets. I should make them since they’re such a favorite.



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  • linda campbell
    2 months ago

    I do a refrigerator pickle, with boiled beets if I have any...if not, I buy jarred or canned beets and dump off half the liquid, replace with cider vinegar and a bit of sugar, add some sliced onions, a few whole cloves and a cinnamon stick and refrigerate over night.

    plllog thanked linda campbell
  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    So, I bought a couple of bunches of baby beets. Trying to figure out how to get them to taste the way I want. Cook first and get to just pop off the skin? I'm thinking chili lime.... Plus the ubiquitous vinegar. Ginger?

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 months ago

    Just about anything you like in a vinaigrette should fit your palate. Obviously no oil. One part vinegar, two parts water.

    I've been working my way through this pickle book.


    I have a few issues with it. Mostly layout/design. But it has been good for starting off points. Like green apple/ginger, red onion/mango.

    Best to cook as planned, then try cubed, sliced thick/thin, in smaller containers. Different concentrations of ingredients and taste after 4-6 hours and again after 24, 48.

    We prefer our beets, radish, carrots, onions, etc pickled raw. Good at 6 hours up to 24.

    Basically making a beet salad when cooked or raw. A no-mayo slaw or shaved salad is really just a quick pickle.

    If looking to can/jar them for shelf stable....not my dealio.


    plllog thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 months ago

    I was sent these as a freebie sample last year. Yuck. I've never tasted something so weird that i could not stop snacking on, lol. If you take every strong spice in your arsenal, like clove, star anise, allspice, cardamon, yada yada.....

    No list of ingredients, just 'spices'. On the front, '11 spice blend'.


  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    So...yuck, but you kept eating them? Thanks for the starting clues. The commercial ones I liked so much were firm, but definitely cooked. They weren't canned in brine, like proper pickles, rather dry packed in plastic. I have a pile of veg to cook today, but hope to finish them so I can play with the beets tomorrow, ;)

  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 months ago

    It's like looking at a restaurant menu and trying to visualize a dish by the description. Sometimes what is served is way off what is expected.

    Or ordering an unsweetened iced tea and getting a southern sick-sweet tea.

    The label says ''classic dill'. Not what i expected. Can't imagine serving with a cheese plate or a glass of wine. Spice off the charts. I was intrigued trying to identify the spice blend. A mid-day snacking pickle. Then they were gone, haha.

    Hard to see the menu in this pick at the Essex St Market. The PickleGuys offer a few dozen various vegetables pickled from fresh including beets. And pickle dipping sauces.




  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    2 months ago

    I have a friend that buys the cooked beets in the bags. Something like 'love my beets' on the label. One is spiced. Probably WholeFoods and/or TJ's.

    Often cheaper than purchasing fresh beets. Her kids love them. I should look at the ingredient label.

    My pre-game Superbowl snack tray. Some are 4-6 hour and the other are over-night 12 hour. I re-stocked the tray 3-4 more times. (we had Tacos at kick-off)



  • plllog
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Pretty! We approach things sp differently, but your food always looks so appetizing to me! I overdid a couple days ago, and today and tomorrow are minion days, but cleaning and steaming the beets, at least, is on the list. The tops may have to go to the chickens, though. Such a bore not being able to do it all. Thanks for the pics! I've never seen or heard of dipping pickles! Interesting concept. The PickleGuys look fascinating.

  • claudia valentine
    2 months ago

    I buy raw beets and "roast" them. After, I peel and slice and put them in a jar with a bit of salt, a good strong dash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of oilive oil, just as you would maybe dress a salad, with oil and vinegar. They keep in the fridge for the couple of weeks that we are using them.

    I like the beets to be roasted instead of cooked in water

    But instead of putting the oven on to roast them, what I do is clean them, cut them in two halves and put them in a high sided cast iron pot, add a bit of water the make steam, cover with a tight lid and add a bit more water as the steam winds down. When they are tender and done, I remove the lid and let them just sort of carmalize and brown a bit on the hot iron surface until they are dry and roasted-ish . It carmalizes the sugars in the beets and concentrates and deepend the flavors and the color of the beets.

    I like to keep a jar of these ready to use, but dont expect them to keep as if they were actually pickled.

    I do much the same with sweet peppers. Instead of roasting in the oven, I slice them and brown them up in a stainless steel saute pan until they have a nice bit of browning and then just dress them with oil, vinegar and salt, and put them into a glass jar, just as i do the beets. Again, they are not preserved and should be used within a reasonable time. But, I make a full quart jar of them and they are so handy to have on hand and make a great cheese and roasted pepper sandwich. I dont favor these sweet peppers that are sold in the grocery store in the winter time, but they do come in handy to enhance winter meals. Nothing beats the summer produce, but it is not summer, so.............

    plllog thanked claudia valentine
  • claudia valentine
    2 months ago

    I see that many add sugar to thier beets. I find that the carmalized sugar of the beets to be quite sweet enough for my version. Most traditional ways do use sugar . I never felt it to be necessary. If you roast , as opposed to boil so much of the goodness out with the cooking water, everything about the beet will be enhanced------color, flavor and natural sweetness.

    If I were to actully can and pickle beets, sure that i would use some sugar for that. Care needs to be taken when actually canning beets for preserving, and they need that added acid, sugar and salt .That has it's own appeal, and can be absolutely delicious, but I quite enjoy my version of "roasted" and lightly dressed and meant to be used within a time, not kept.

    I dont usually add any spices to my roasted version, but you could add just what ever you want---onions, ginger, cloves, whatever.

    Carrots are also good done much like this, as a cold pickle kind of thing..

    Both beets and carrots get a bad rap and I think that it may be because so many times when you encounter it on your table, it is prepared in such an inglorious manner. It is only in these later years of my life that I have discovered how wonderful both beets and carrots can be! When we dont have the abundant summer produce, I find so many ways to put carrots on the plate and we have carrots almost everyday in some form or fashion. Seriously, hubs and i go through pounds of them a week, seriously and no exaggeration! Beets a little less frequently.

    plllog thanked claudia valentine
  • agmss15
    2 months ago

    I actually like the overly sweet grocery store pickled beets. Alas I no longer live in central NJ where the local supermarket had a huge kosher section (and sizable sections for other ethnic foods). There were several brands available. I rarely buy the ones at the store here.


    I do sometimes make ‘pickled’ beets and onions and whatever vinaigrette I make up. No added sugar. I have used canned or not.


    Now I think I have to gets some beets. Thinking more of a salad I learned from a friend from the general region of the Caucasus. Roasted beets, pomegranates and walnuts. I tend to play around with additions and a dressing. I think his version had just olive oil or no dressing.

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  • claudia valentine
    last month

    agmiss, in the off season I buy raw spinach and will dress it with my own refrigerator beets and walnuts and a vinegarette of dark balsamic. I will also throw in some of my carrots that I keep prepared in the fridge for quick use. I prepare the carrots by immersing the chunked carrots in a hot pot for four minutes until they are just aldente. I make up pounds of carrots at a time so that I usually have them available. It sure brightens up the winter meals!

    plllog thanked claudia valentine
  • plllog
    Original Author
    last month

    Report: Y'know I've been kind of hobbling around, and not really cooking. I was steaming artichokes and corn, so snuck in the baby beets when the corn was done. Peeling them was a pain! Cooking was not a help! At that point, I was exhausted and desperate for a nap, and I hadn't thought through that I'd need the pickle part, I was just so intent on getting them cooked!

    So I grabbed a cube jar which was clean and handy and found a bottle of ACV which needed using up (I'd been intending white, but hadn't found it yet and wasn't eager to hunt). In it all went to clear the bottlee. Maybe half a cup or a little more. Then a big splash of orange juice because I'd forgotten to ask a minion for lemons from the tree. There was a goodly jar of "mulling spices" on the counter which I'd bought on a whim--it has dried fruit in it and other fancy things as well as whole spices. The profile sounded fine for beets and orange juice. And I sliced up a spring onion to keep it all company. And some crushed red pepper like you put on pizza because it was easy.

    Today, I remembered to try one. The concept is a success. Yes, I can approximate my discontinued old favorite at home. I'm not sure I want to, but I can. The liquid has turned ruby red and seems to have thickened a bit, but the latter may be an illusion. I don't know if I put in enough spices for them to really show up. The vinegariness has already penetrated though maybe not fully. I think I need to leave them in until it's been a full week, and then drain them and let them mellow out some. The liquid can go in pickle bread, when I can bake. And, of course, next time, I'll try to get the particular flavor profile I wanted.

    Thanks again to all of you for giving me the confidence and ideas!

  • bragu_DSM 5
    last month

    Sleeve, Sleeve, Sleeve: okay, must admit ... really REALLY like that Asian Pickles book. When I am at a loss for something different - as long as I am mixing up something from the book I run out of [things never seem to last as long as they claim; they get eaten up] - I try to find something new to try and slap in the fridge. What a nice starting point - the recipes - as I like to spice things up a lot. Every time I turn around, I find something that ... pickles my fancy ...

    plllog thanked bragu_DSM 5
  • sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
    last month

    Yes, it is a fun read.

    My local vegetable box, just like this time last year, is full of root crops. I used the root end of a red beet at the bottom of my jar, (no waste), then a finely sliced 1/2 red onion, then a planked turnip covered with the brine from a batch of pickled chickpeas...no cinnamon. (don't car for it).


    Box of vegetables just in time for a AcademyAwards party last weekend. Beet hummus. Big hit with my crowd.


    plllog thanked sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)
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