How to Make Quick Pickled Beets

Dive into the vibrant world of Quick Pickled Beets, a simple and flavorful way to enjoy the earthy sweetness of beets with a tangy twist. This recipe is perfect for those who appreciate the depth of flavor that pickling can bring to fresh produce, without the lengthy fermentation process. Quick pickled beets are great as a side dish, a salad topping, or even as a colorful addition to sandwiches and burgers. Whether you’re a pickling pro or trying it for the first time, this easy recipe promises to deliver deliciously tangy beets in just a few hours.

The journey to mastering Quick Pickled Beets began on a whim, driven by an abundance of beets from the garden and a desire to try something new. After some experimentation with vinegar, sugar, and spices, I found the perfect balance that transformed the humble beet into a tangy, sweet, and slightly spiced delight. Sharing these pickled beets at a family dinner, I was met with surprised delight and requests for more. They became an instant hit, adding a burst of color and flavor to many meals.

This recipe became a staple in my kitchen, a symbol of the joy and simplicity of pickling. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the best flavors come from the simplest techniques, turning everyday ingredients into something extraordinary.

Why You’ll Love Quick Pickled Beets

  • Flavorful: The perfect balance of tangy, sweet, and earthy flavors.
  • Versatile: A delightful addition to many dishes, enhancing flavors and adding color.
  • Quick & Easy: Ready to enjoy in just a few hours, with minimal prep required.
  • Healthy: Beets are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
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Ingredients Notes For Quick Pickled Beets

  • Beets: Fresh beets are cooked until tender, then sliced or cubed.
  • Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides a nice tanginess, but white vinegar works too.
  • Sugar: Balances the acidity of the vinegar, adding a touch of sweetness.
  • Water: Dilutes the vinegar, ensuring the pickling liquid isn’t too harsh.
  • Spices: Mustard seeds, peppercorns, and a bay leaf add depth and subtle spice.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prepare the Beets: Cook the beets by boiling or roasting until tender, then peel and slice.
  2. Make the Pickling Liquid: Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and spices in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Combine Beets and Liquid: Place the sliced beets in a jar and pour the hot pickling liquid over them, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  4. Cool and Refrigerate: Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then seal the jar and refrigerate for at least a few hours, allowing the flavors to meld.

Storage Options

  • Refrigerate: Quick pickled beets should be stored in the refrigerator and are best enjoyed within a week for optimal flavor and texture.

Ingredients

  • Beets: 1 pound cooked, peeled, and sliced (about 3 to 4 medium beets)
  • Water: 1 cup
  • White vinegar or apple cider vinegar: 1 cup
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup adjust to taste for more or less sweetness
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Whole cloves: 4 to 6
  • Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Peppercorns: 1 teaspoon
  • Optional for extra flavor: A few slices of red onion a bay leaf, or a few slices of fresh ginger

Instructions

Prepare the Beets:

  • If starting with raw beets, wash them thoroughly, trim the tops and roots, and then boil in water until tender (about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size). You can also roast or steam them. Once cooked, the skins should slip off easily. Slice the beets into thin rounds or wedges, depending on your preference.

Make the Pickling Liquid:

  • In a saucepan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, whole cloves, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Add any of the optional flavorings if using.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.

Combine Beets and Liquid:

  • Place the sliced beets in a clean jar or bowl. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the beets, ensuring they are completely submerged. If using onion or ginger, make sure they’re distributed evenly among the beets.

Cool and Store:

  • Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover and refrigerate. The pickled beets will be ready to eat after a few hours but will continue to develop in flavor over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Serve:

  • Quick Pickled Beets can be served as a side dish, added to salads, or used as a condiment. They add a beautiful color and vibrant flavor to any dish.

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