While I haven’t always been a huge fan of beets – I swore they tasted like dirt when I was a kid – I will always eat them pickled. To be honest, I’ll eat almost anything once it’s pickled (I still won’t eat pigs feet), but pickled beets are especially good thanks to the natural sugars present in the bright red root.
While there are tons of recipes for pickled beets out there, I want to share my Aunt Kathy’s method for pickling beets. It’s simple and the results are absolutely delicious. She douses the cooked beets with vinegar, seasons them with salt and pepper, and stores them in the fridge. It’s really that easy. The sweet and sour beets are a wonderful addition to salads, but I also like to eat them alone as a snack.
I will warn you that my family might have a higher tolerance of vinegar than some of you out there – these beets are more sour than sweet. But I think they’re wonderful!
You may cook the beets using your favorite method, but for this recipe I think it’s easiest to peel and chop them and then steam until tender. If you prefer to roast, boil, or steam the beets whole, just peel then chop them into small pieces once they’re cool enough to handle, then proceed with the recipe.
Put the cooked beet pieces in a container and add the vinegar, a couple generous pinches of salt, and some fresh ground black pepper. We sometimes add some extra virgin olive oil as well. Store the beets, covered, in the refrigerator and eat them when you feel like it – they will taste great within a couple hours. If you’re sensitive to vinegar, rinse the beets before eating. You could also dilute the vinegar with water.
Aunt Kathy’s Pickled Beets
Four cups of peeled and chopped beets (2 small bunches)
1 cup red wine vinegar (or vinegar of your choice)
extra virgin olive oil, to taste (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Steam chopped beets for 35 – 45 minutes, or until tender. Make sure to put enough water beneath the steamer and check occasionally that the level is okay – if all the water evaporates, you will burn up your pot (I know this from experience)! Put cooked beets in a bowl, add vinegar, a couple generous pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. You may add a bit of extra virgin olive oil for flavor if desired. Store beets, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to eat. I like to stir them up a few times during the first day so that they all get evenly coated with vinegar. They will be good to eat within a few hours, but can be stored in the vinegar for up to a week.
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