Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

More Pickling

Last week we found ourselves with way too many beets and cucumbers to eat, so it was time to get serous about preserving our abundance. Like cucumbers, pickling beets is really easy and the results are so good You’ll want to cook them first, either by steaming or roasting. We’ve tried both ways but usually just cut them in half and steam ’em. Don’t worry about peeling the skins, you’ll be able to remove them easily after the beets are cooked.

While your beets are steaming, prepare the brine in a separate stock pot. We boil 1 part water with 1 part vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is our favorite, but it gets pricey so this time we used half white vinegar and half balsamic. Apple cider vinegar is good too. You can also add brown sugar, cinnamon, or cloves.

After your beets are cooked, cool them under water and slide the skins off with your fingers or a butter knife. It should be fairly easy to do, but it does take a little time. Then slice your beets and pack in your sterilized jars.

Ladle your boiling brine in up to 1/4″ of the top of each jar, wipe the mouth with a damp paper towel to ensure a good seal, and tap against a surface to dislodge any air bubbles (some people prefer to scrape a non-metallic spatula around the inside). Close them up and process in your boiling water bath for about 10 minutes.

Once removed, allow to cool before moving to a cool, dark place (we use the basement). You should hear delightful little plinks when the seals form as the contents of the jars cool down. You’ll know they’re sealed when the lid is depressed and doesn’t pop up when you press it.

pickles pickles picklesLooks like we have enough pickled cucumbers to last us through the winter, but we’ll definitely need more pickled beets… we love them on salads and straight out of the jar. Good thing we’re planting more beets at Dave’s place!


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