Fresh beets, earthy and sweet, are best roasted or steamed and, when there’s an abundance, pickled! Serve as a side dish, a relish or as an accompaniment to a cheese board with a creamy cheese, like goat cheese or brie, and chunks of pumpernickel bread.
- 2 pounds fresh beets leaves trimmed
- 1 large red onion diced
- 3 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoons pickling salt
Place the beets in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until beets are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and cut the beets into ½-inch slices or bite-sized pieces. Place the sliced beets along with the onion, caraway seeds and mustard seeds in a large bowl.
Combine the vinegar, sugar, water and pickling salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the beet mixture and gently stir to combine. When cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a month.
Makes 8 cups or 4 pint jars.
NOTE: If you are an experienced canner and want to preserve the beets for later, ladle the mixture into sterilized jars to within 1/2 inch of the rim, making sure that the beets are covered with the liquid. Seal and process in a hot water bath canner for 30 minutes.
Photo by Jodi Miller