How pretty are these? I didn’t grow up eating beets, but I’ve come to love them–in salads, roasted with other root vegetables, as chips, and especially pickled. Dan grew a bunch of chioggia (aka “candy cane”) beets in the p-patch and since I rarely turn the oven on during summer, those babies were just begging to be pickled. I’m certain that this recipe will work well with any kind of beet; I think golden beets would look pretty gorgeous in jars too.
For 4 Quart Jars:
3 lbs beets, peeled and cut into uniformly sized chunks. You want your beets to cook evenly as you prep them to be jarred, so leave smaller ones whole, cut medium ones in half and quarter the large ones.
1 red onion, thinly sliced
6 sprigs fresh tarragon
6 small sprigs fresh rosemary
4 cups vinegar (plain white works great here)
2 cups water
1/2 cup salt (kosher, canning or any non-iodized small grain salt)
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp pickling spice (or a combination of allspice berries, mustard seed, dill seed and coriander seed)
1. Boil beets in a large pot of water until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Do not overcook, you don’t want mushy pickles. About 10-15 minutes should be sufficient.
2. While the beets are boiling, divide onions amongst 4 clean quart jars.
3. Make your pickling brine: In a large sauce pan, combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar and pickling spice. Taste your brine. Your pickles will have the same flavor profile as your brine, so if it’s too salty, sour or sweet for your taste, now is the time to adjust it by adding more vinegar, salt and sugar as desired. Bring brine to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
3. When beets are finished cooking, drain them well in a colander and allow to slightly cool.
4. Divide beets amongst the 4 quart jars. Add 2 rosemary and 2 tarragon springs to each jar. Ladle pickling brine into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch of head space.
5. Process jars in a large stock pot for 15 minutes.
6. Allow jars to sit undisturbed for 12 hours, then test your seals. If all looks good, they’re ready to store and share. They should be ready to eat after a week.