The weekend of the 4th was a productive one for us. We chose to hang around home to catch up on things. The hubs repainted the Adirondack furniture he built a few years back. They were transformed from a natural stain to a flat black to match the trim on our house.
Beets, kohlrabi and kale were ready to pick and preserve. An experiment is brewing with a Kale Kimchi recipe and these lacto-fermented Kohlrabi Pickles were set to pickle away. Since we can’t get enough of this Pickled Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad, over a bed of our home-grown lettuce –
all of our beets were harvested to make these Sweet Apple Cider Pickled Beets. This recipe is from the canning book Tart and Sweet by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.
The original recipe calls for whole baby beets, but these beets grew up too fast. I quickly improvised by slicing them into thick discs.
The star anise is an unusual ingredient adding an unexpected subtle, but pleasant change in flavor,
I used Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and honey for the sweetener.
Too impatient to wait, a jar has already been cracked open. Delicious!
Another row of beets are popping up to make some more of these sweet and tart pickles and also some Beet Kraut, for when our cabbage comes of age. Can’t wait for that.
Before you label me as some kind of canning maniac whose pantry is full of lovely homemade and home-grown preserves, while that kind of productivity is much admired, I am choosing to enjoy a more quiet rhythm this summer. One with more down time. Laughing and playing with our family, allowing myself time to just be. This recipe was just the right size for my wee little canning project. The volume of beets picked made up one and a half recipes which turned out 6 pints.
Remember to wear an apron and rubber gloves when making these – it’s a colorful experience and one that stains. But the results are well worth it. I serve these sliced small on a bed of lettuce, with goat cheese and roasted walnuts with a yummy Maple Mustard Dressing.
That’s all for now friends!
5 pounds young beets, scrubbed
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon allspice berries
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
Trim the beets by cutting off the top part, near the stem, as well as the root tail.
Place the beets in a large nonreactive pot. Cover with water, bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Strain and run the beets under cold water.
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skins, slice into 1/4 inch discs, and set the beets aside.
Rinse the pot and bring the vinegar, water, salt and honey to a boil. Place allspice, peppercorns, star anise, and cinnamon in each hot jar.
Tightly pack beets into the jars without bruising them. Pour boiling brine over the beets, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Make sure the beets are fully covered with the liquid. Check for air bubbles, wipe rims, and seal. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for elevation.