Nil sole et sale utilius

Easy Beets

The end of summer is always a busy time for me, but this year it has been exceptionally so. My life took an unexpected turn in mid-August and for the past few weeks there has barely been enough time (or energy) to cook food, let alone write about it.

A couple of weeks ago, though, as I was rooting through the refrigerator looking for a vegetable that hadn’t wilted out of neglect, I spied a couple of beets that I decided had finally been taking up space in the drawer too long.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. I think I’d intended to grate them for salads, but since I was baking bread that day, I decided to roast them. While they were roasting, I googled around for ideas and in the process learned that pickling them wasn’t as difficult as I’d expected it to be. In fact, according to every recipe I looked at, it was quite easy. 
So I pickled ’em. And it really was dead easy. 
I cleaned and trimmed the beets and put them in a small casserole alongside the bread while it was baking. They took a bit longer then the bread, about 45 minutes. 
When they were done, I set them aside to cool a bit while I made the brine. Since I only had two beets, I only made a small amount of the brine.  
When the beets were cool enough to handle, I peeled and sliced them, and packed them into a quart canning jar and poured the brine over them. They were so easy and turned out so good, I’ve already had to make another batch. 
Brine ingredients: 
1 c sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 t salt
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
Boil all brine ingredients together for about 15 minutes. Pour over beets. 
Allow to cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate. If possible, allow the flavors to develop for 3 or 4 days before eating. 
One recipe said that you could put hard boiled eggs in the brine for a few days to make pickled eggs. I haven’t tried that…yet. But I intend to when I get a chance. 

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