2011 – We had not really eaten beetroot before growing it. What a fantastic vegetable. Really good for you, easy to grow, tastes great, tastes best raw, fantastic when juiced, when pickled it is so much better than the tinned stuff and you use the lot of it. The leaves taste much better than silver-beet. Next year we will grow a lot more of it.
This tastes nothing like the tinned beetroot. It is a bit spicy so leave out the chilli of you don’t like it hot.
Cook the beetroot with the skin on for ages. I read that as they float they are ready so I cooked them (skin on) and took them out when they floated. Leave to cool and remove the skins.
The spiced vinegar
While the beetroot is cooking simmer together and allow to steep for a few hours until cool:
- 500ml good vinegar
- 500 ml water
- 2 onions, chopped roughly
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 chilli – chopped
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cummin seeds
- 1 tsp cardamon seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 star anise
- 2 tbs salt
Peel strips of rind from a lemon
Slice the beetroot, layer into jars with lemon strips, vinegar and a some of the spices. Ensure the beetroot is covered with vinegar. Scrunch some baking paper on to the top to keep it submerged if necessary. Put a folded layer of baking paper beneath the lid. Leave for at least three weeks.
Pickled Sugar Beetroot – white beetroot
I sliced my gherkins very finely with the wavy slicer on the food processor and loved them. They pile beautifully and spread easily and were just right for topping biscuits and cheese, so I decided to try the thin slices with sugar beets.
Spiced vinegar made as above, with the chilli omitted and the onion sliced finely in the food processor, brought to the boil and allowed to steep for a few hours and brought back to the boil before pouring over the sliced beets.
Cooking the beetroot
I scrubbed and peeled the beets and put them into a foil lined tray, added a little water, sealed the foil and cooked them in the oven until tender.
Next time I will just scrub and cook and remove the skins when cooled, because small black spots came up on the outer surface and I had to peel bits of the flesh off before slicing. I didn’t want any unsighty spots on the white flesh.
Leave to cool then slice thinly.
Into dishwasher cleaned and dried jars put a small amount of the pickling liquid, then a good layer of sliced beets, packing down reasonably well. Alternate layers until the jars are full and the contents covered. Use some scrunched baking paper to keep them submerged until they sink of their own accord.
I store these in the fridge. You are supposed to wait for a minimum of three weeks for the flavours to develop but they tasted pretty good the next morning.