Please Note: This is not a recipe to start today and eat tonight. It takes two days to get to the finish line. It’s something to do while you’re doing everything else. Trust me…it’s worth the wait!
I am having a love affair with beets these days. I used to HATE beets…those slimy red things that came out of a can.
I decided to explore them on my own terms taking in consideration an old recipe that my Mom used to make…pickled beets. For the past few years, I have tried many recipes on the internet to make pickled beets.
Some good. Some bad.
The biggest issue I had is what to do with the spices. I never had cheesecloth or gauze on hand to bag them with so I would throw the spices into the brine…and if you got a clove on your beet while eating it…well deal with it.
This time I found the answer to all my beet issues.
A recipe that solved the swarming spice issue.
A recipe that combines the sweet and tart expectations of pickled beets.
A recipe that adds a new flavor….fresh dill!
I’m totally in love now!
The recipe is from Epicurious.com and it will become one of my forever recipes.
Let’s start the journey. Fresh beets. I used two bunches or about six beets. Cut the tops off.
Wash those babies off. Yes, they come from the ground and need a little scrubbing…while doing so, hold them up to your nose and inhale the richness of the earth. Thank you Mother Nature! (I would have never said this about beets when I was 12)
Place them in a pot covered with water and let them cook until you can insert a knife comfortably through them. Take them out and let them cool off.
Once cooled, skin them with a paring knife. The skins will come off easily and the deep red/purple juices will start to flow in your hands.
Here comes the best part…spicing it up…adding dimension and complexity to the flavors…
Pickling spices and fresh dill….combined with onion, vinegar, sugar and water…
Mmmm….my favorite part is holding my head above the brine while it simmers and picking out all the incredible flavors.
Once the brine is cooked, it’s time to cool your jets (or beets in this case) for everything needs to chill and relax for a day so the flavors can fully come out in good time. (One thing about cooking, it’s all in good time and some recipes you can’t rush.)
Flash forward to Day Two:
Drain the spices from the brine over the beets and let them do their magic. Again, you need time (8 hours to a day) for the brine to integrate with the beets and onions. Put them in the refrigerator and when you think of it, give them a stir to keep the flavor flowing to all beets.
End result is a delicious, flavorful, earthy, vinegary, low calorie salad that I top with goat cheese…
Added Bonus: I place hard boiled eggs in the beet/brine/onion bowl to make pickled eggs. Hubby loves them!