Fancy Schmancy Pickled Beets

Last summer, as you may recall, I began to dabble with the ‘art’ of canning. I’m already drooling just a bit in anticipation of making my pickled sweet onions again this year. In addition, I’ve been able to can diced tomatoes, salsa, pickled jalapenos, cucumbers and homemade turkey broth. And then, there’s the beets.

I tried to pickle beets last year and while yes, it did work, their flavor and color was a bit ‘meh’. I even forgot about a jar of them in the refrigerator – while they did smell okay when I opened the jar last week, the color was gone and my digestive system was not going to take any chances. I love pickled beets in my salad and being a pickle fanatic, I knew I had to give this another go.

Fancy Schmancy Pickled Beets – adapted from Pamela at My Man’s Belly

Makes 2 quart-sized jars of beets.

  • 8 medium sized beets (for me it was 2 bunches)
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 head fennel, trimmed & sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp powdered ginger (or more if you really like ginger – see original recipe for using fresh)
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 quart jars with lids & bands, sterilized
  1. Fill a large saucepan with water and set on stove to boil.
  2. Wash off your beets. Cut off the leaves as well as the root.
  3. Place beets into the boiling water and boil until the beets soften – between 1 & 1 1/2 hours. Remove from water & let cool.
  4. WHILE THE BEETS ARE BOILING – in a seperate saucepan, combine 1 cup of water & the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. This is your pickling brine and is a bit stinging to the nose.
  5. Once the brine is boiling and the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat to a simmer & cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from heat.
  6. Once your beets have cooled, peel them by running them under cold water & scraping off the skins. Then, either cut them into slices, or dice if you like them in smaller pieces.
  7. Set out your large jars. If you have a canning funnel, you’ll want to use this too – it makes life a lot easier!
  8. Alternate laying the beets with the brine mixture into the jars. Once all beets are in, top off the jars with the rest of the brine.
  9. Leave the lids sitting on your counter until they cool down to room temperature.
  10. Once they’ve cooled, put the lids & bands on, and set in the refrigerator overnight. After 24 hours, they’re good to go!
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Look at how bright they are!

We tried the beets last night on our salads – wow. I know that ‘eating a rainbow’ is a new trick to get kids to eat vegetables – hell, I think it would have worked on me when I was a kid, but that didn’t exist in the late 80s – but look at the color on those beets! They are so unbelievably bright magenta. What kid wouldn’t want to try those?

This recipe caught my eye because it uses a bulb of fennel. I received this in our CSA and while many of you posted some great ideas for its use, I’m still intimidated by the licorice-y aroma & wasn’t too enthusiastic about making a full dish out of it (yet – I promise I will get there someday!). The fennel adds some depth to the beets and really takes it up another level.

I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about the two jars in my fridge anytime soon – they take up a lot of room in my fridge & they’re so delicious!”

On another note, any time I talk about pickling something, my husband retorts with the phrase, “We can pickle that!” from Portlandia. If you have a goofy sense of humor and/or love Fred Armisen, you may enjoy the video below.

**Shared on Homemade Mondays, Week 37 at Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity**

**Shared at In Her Chucks’ Recipe Round-Up**

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