Sunday, August 11, 2013
Pickled Golden Beets
Growing up in the southwestern burbs of Chicago, pickled beets were everywhere. The canned variety was always included on every holiday relish tray. Every family-style restaurant had them on the menu, usually accompanied by cottage cheese and a wedge of iceberg lettuce. And most of the Bohemian restaurants served them hot as a side dish or along with sweet and sour kraut.
Whether served as an appetizer, salad or side dish, they always had these things in common; they were way sweeter than sour, they were on the mushy side and they were Red. The smart hostess bought them pre-sliced so she didn’t have to worry about serving dinner with red-stained fingers. But that didn’t protect the white linen tablecloth or dinner napkins or my Sunday best white shirt!
This is not a recipe for putting up a whole season’s worth of beets. This, like a lot of our recipes, is a simple alternative to store bought. Fresher tasting, a little different than what you’re used to but most of all providing the satisfaction of serving something you made yourself.
Instead of loading our beets up with sugar, we add more aromatics and we roast them instead of boiling so they become tender, but remain firm. Oh, and of course, they’re golden instead of red so if there’s a spill they’ll still leave your tablecloth with a reminder that they were here, but a much less obvious one.
Pickled Golden Beets
Yield: 1 Quart Preparation Time: 20 Minutes Cooking Time: 42 Minutes
• 3 Golden Beets, washed but not peeled
• 2 Shallots, peeled
• 2 Cloves Garlic, unpeeled
• 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
• ½ Sweet Onion, halve the onion by cutting from the stem to root ends
• 1 Cup Cider Vinegar
• 1½ Teaspoons Kosher salt
• ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
• 1 Cup Water
Step 1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Step 2. Cut off all but 1” of the stems and roots from the Beets.
Step 3. Toss the Beets, Shallots and Garlic with the Olive Oil, then wrap them loosely in an aluminum foil pouch and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Step 4. Remove the remaining root and stem crown and the skin from the cooled Beets and cut into ⅛” thick slices.
Step 5. Thinly slice the Onion from root to stem ends, always cutting toward the core.
Step 6. Arrange the sliced Beets in a 1-quart canning jar in alternating layers with the sliced Onion.
Step 7. In a small sauce pan, combine the Vinegar, Salt, Sugar and Water.
Step 8. Mince the roasted Shallots and set aside. Squeeze the roasted Garlic out of its skin and mash. Add the Shallots and Garlic to the sauce pan with the Vinegar mixture.
Step 9. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 2 minutes and then strain into a bowl with a pouring spout.
Step 10. Pour the strained Vinegar mixture into the 1-quart jar to cover the Beets and Onions. Discard any remaining liquid. While the contents are still hot wipe any spills from the rim of the jar with a clean paper towel and place the flat lid on the jar. Add the lid-ring, close the jar and allow to cool for 15 minutes then refrigerate for at least 3 days before using.
The Beets will last up to 2 weeks under refrigeration.
Tips and Trending
~ Although this recipe is not really for “canning” or “processing” for long term storage, it is important that the work area and the jars, lids, rings and strainer are spotlessly clean. Boiling to sterilize is not necessary. If you plan to use the same jar again for another batch, dispose of the flat lid – they are not reusable, the ring however can be used again.
~ Once you’ve made a single batch for yourself, and your friends have tried them, you will definitely want more! The recipe can easily be multiplied to make more to share.
~ This same recipe can be used with red beets and red onions.
~ FYI, slicing onions as described in step 5 is called “frenching”.