Beets: the often under-appreciated root vegetable. I have always liked beets, but it wasn’t until I added them to my garden this past year that I feel completely, hopelessly in love with them. Sure, they’re not the easiest vegetable to eat, certainly not compared to the snap peas and green beans we snack on right off the plant, but they’re worth the time spent roasting and peeling them.
My new favorite way to eat them is with freshly ground peppercorns and balsamic vinegar. I threw these few ingredients together quickly one night when we had dinner company, for a quick-pickle style beet to go on our fresh garden salad. I was thrilled with the outcome, and with my last two harvests, I’ve canned them all this way.
This recipe makes approximately (2) pint jars, or (1) quart, depending on beet size. If you have very large beets, or simply more of them, you will want to double your liquid mixture as needed.
2-lbs roasted beets
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tb. peppercorns, lightly ground
1. Rinse beets, trim ends and tops. Leave about 1″ of tops to avoid the beets “bleeding out” and losing their color. (I plant Detroit Reds however, and have roasted these while cut in half and they hold their color perfectly.)
2. Drizzle olive oil into a foil-line baking sheet. Add beets and gently shake to coat beets. Out in a 325-F oven for an hour. (Depending on beet size, they may need more time. I poke them gently with a fork. When the skin is wrinkles and the beets are soft, they’re ready!)
3. Peel the beet skins off as soon as possible. If you wait until the beets have fully cooled, it’s a little harder to do, so as soon as you can handle them without burning off your fingertips, snap to it!
4. Slice your beets into the desired shape. I like to cut mine in half and then slice into little “half moons”. These fit so nicely on a cracker with some sharp cheddar or smoked Gouda.
5. Add beets to jars, then add peppercorns. Mix vinegars and water in a pot and bring just to a boil, then remove and ladle into jars immediately.
6. Seal jars right away, and process in your pressure cooker (follow your cooker’s filling and heating instructions) at 10 pounds – pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 45.
7. Allow jars to cool fully once removed from the pressure cooker. Then remove rings, wipe down and store in a cool, dark location.