We’ve had a plethora of radishes and beets this summer. I love beets many ways — roasted, grated raw on top of a salad, but especially pickled. Whole Foods sells a delicious product (Love Beets) that I sometimes splurge on (their honey ginger variety is my favorite), but with our own beets growing fast and furious, it only made sense to pickle them myself.
Usually pickled beet recipes call for boiling or roasting the beets before pickling them, but I don’t think it’s necessary (and it complicates an already easy recipe), and I actually prefer mine raw. They retain some of their crunch, and when sliced thinly, the vinegar softens them up just enough.
- 6 large beets, scrubbed, peeled, and sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 large red onion, sliced thinly
Combine water, sugar, salt, and vinegar in saucepan and heat, stirring with a whisk, until sugar dissolves. Boil for about 2 minutes, then remove from heat.
In a large mason jar, layer sliced beets and sliced onion to the top of the jar. Pour liquid on top, allow to cool slightly. Place lid on, then place jar in refrigerator. Don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t initially cover the beets and onions — after a few hours, they will miraculously sink down into themselves. Allow to pickle for 2 – 3 days before adding to salads or eating straight out of the jar. I also really like the pickled red onions on sandwiches or on a bagel with cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, and smoked salmon! Just a word of warning, the beets must remain refrigerated unless you decide to can them using proper sterile canning methods (Jamie, I’m thinking about you!). Nobody likes a bad case of botulism.
I enjoyed my pickled beets on a bed of arugula (from our garden) with goat cheese and pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds). I will share the full recipe soon, including a great salad dressing recipe.
I also pickled the radishes using this recipe (omitting the red pepper because radishes are spicy enough)– and they turned out great!