When the garden gives you beets…pickle them!

It’s garden season in the northeast!  There is nothing better than fresh grown organic fruits and vegetables straight from the garden….well wait….maybe there is something better…having a master gardener in the family who does all the work.  Seriously we are  so blessed to have an amazing gardener in the family.  He grows acres and acres of fresh organic fruits and vegetables and what’s even better…he likes to share.  We are lucky enough to receive everything from these beautiful beets I am working with today to asparagus, corn, tomatoes, watermelon, apples and pears just to name a few of the garden goodies.

When most people hear beets they say yuk.  But I think that is because they haven’t had properly cooked beets.  Roasting  beets and combing them with a drizzle of balsamic and a sprinkle of goat cheese is a summer delight and a great alternative to the everyday salad.

fresh beets.JPG

I decide to make pickled beets with my garden bounty.  I usually pickle a few jars every summer and they take us through the winter.  I follow a very simple recipe given to me by my mother many years ago.  You can certainly tweak it to taste by adding pickling spices or using apple cider vinegar.  When I pickle I always use Heinz Vinegar as it is produced with high quality ingredients and Heinz has been doing so since 1869 so that certainly says something about the company.  As for sugar, it’s Domino or nothing!  Domino sugar produces a high quality product using pure cane sugar and it is extra fine so it dissolves quickly.  The onions I add to the pickled beets come from Pine Island, NY which is famous for their black dirt onions.  Seriously these onions are so flavorful they will enhance any dish.  We usually get a 50 pound bag every fall (yes we like onions) and stored properly they last a long time.  I am still using them from last fall!  I truly believe using high quality ingredients when you cook or bake is crucial to producing outstanding products.

sugar and vinegar.JPG

I store my pickled products in Ball Mason Jars as they are BPA free and manufactured in the USA.  To me that is win win! In fact, I use these jars for many different things such as vases and storage for various items.   I keep several Ball jars on the counter filled with quick healthy treats such as nuts, biscotti and a jar of Cheerios for my dogs (bed time snack).   I love the plastic storage caps that Ball makes.

ball lids.JPGjars.JPG

 

Pickled Beet Recipe

10 cups of  beets (about 20 medium/large beets)

4 medium onions sliced

3 cups of the beet juice from boiling the beets (or water if you roast them but add the juices from roasted beets to the water)

3 cups of Domino sugar

3 cups Heinz white vinegar

Cut the ends off of the beets and scrub well.  Boil or roast the beets until fork tender.  Layer the onions and the beets in the Ball wide mouth jars.  Mix the beet juice, sugar, and vinegar and just bring it to a boil.  Add the brine to the jars covering the beets and onions.  Cool and cover with Ball plastic caps and refrigerate.

The pickled beets will last for many months in the refrigerator.  You can also preserve them by processing in a hot water bath.

jar beetsfinished product

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