These sweet beets are perfect for salads—their sweetness complements the flavors of sharp arugula, nutty Parmesan and earthy walnuts. They’re also delicious paired with citrus and blue cheese. This recipe relies on the basic canning method known as water-bath canning. Although it’s simple, it’s important to do it properly. For specific instructions on this method, read Home Canning: How to Can Using the Boiling Water Bath Method.
Sweet Pickled Baby Beets Recipe
• 5 pounds baby beets, scrubbed
• 2 cups apple cider vinegar
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
• 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice berries
• 1⁄4 teaspoon black peppercorns
• 1 star anise pod
• 1 cinnamon stick
1. Trim beets by cutting off top near stem, as well as the root “tail.” Place beets in a large nonreactive pot, cover with water and boil about 15 minutes, or until just tender. Strain and rinse. Once beets are cool enough to handle, remove skins (see note below) and set beets aside.
2. Prepare four 1-pint canning jars by sterilizing them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, rinse beet pot and prepare brine by bringing vinegar, water, salt and brown sugar to a boil.
4. Remove jars from water with tongs, then place allspice, peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon in each hot jar. Tightly pack beets into jars without bruising them. Pour boiling brine over beets, leaving 1⁄2-inch headspace. Make sure beets are fully covered with the liquid.
5. Check for air bubbles, wipe rims and seal. Process cans, covered in boiling water, for 10 minutes (start timing after water returns to a boil), adjusting for elevation. Makes 4 pints.
Note: The beet skins should slip off easily—just rub them with your fingers. You can wear latex gloves to prevent finger stains. You can also use a vegetable peeler.
Discover the many uses for beets and other plants in 10 Multipurpose Plants for Companion Planting
Reprinted from Tart and Sweet: 101 Canning and Pickling Recipes for the Modern Kitchen by Kelly Geary.