Ginger Pickled Baby Beets

Gingered Pickled BeetsI remember the turning point clearly. The day that my taste buds changed and I learned to like, and then love, what I used to despise. It had happened before, first with red wine then with olives and now, finally, with beets. My mother, who was visiting from out of town, placed on the table a white ceramic plate piled high with little cubes of bright orange roasted yams, crimson beets, and crispy potatoes, leeks and rosemary. Although it was late summer, the kitchen smelled of autumn.

What I had never liked about beets was that they always tasted of freshly tilled soil, and smelled a little like it too. Served with the sweet yams and the pungent rosemary the earthiness of the beets took a big step into the background. While I can’t say I fell in love with beets that night, it was the start of a love affair that continues to this day.

I need to stop and thank a good friend of mine, Ryan, for reminding me of a tradition that I’ve had over the last three years that I somehow almost forgot this year. Sitting at Judas Goat and eating their Marinated Beet Salad with Seasoned Ricotta & Rosemary Honey, our conversation sounded something like this: Mmm, OMG this is delicious. Mmm, I love beets. Mmm …  I think you get the point. It wasn’t until he mentioned his love of canned beets that I remembered about the Ginger Pickled Baby Beets that I have been making for the last few years.

These are the beets that changed my mind about pickled beets. At the same time they manage to be warm and winter-like from the ginger and cool and crisp like summer. The earthy soil taste, which I have grown to love, shines through.  Plus, seeing the dark red jar in my fridge makes me happy.

This year I decided to try out another recipe: Maple and Ginger and Pickled Beets with Pearl Onions. The salad Ryan and I shared at Judas Goat was quite sweet and I must have salivated over it still when I read this recipe. I would love to tell you how the sweetness of the maple syrup compliments the spiciness of the ginger, but I cannot. At they moment both jars are sitting pretty on my counter waiting for two weeks for the flavours to fully ripen. I can tell you though that if they taste as good as they look then I might be without pickled beets even before the end of beet season.

Now my fingers are crossed that Ryan will love the Ginger Pickled Baby Beets as much as I do, and the Maple and Ginger Pickled Beets as much as I think I will. Happy belated birthday, Ryan.

Ginger Pickled Baby Beets
 
These pickled baby beets have the loveliest zing from the ginger. They're perfect for salads, as a side dish or even on their own. You will LOVE them!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 20 baby beets
  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup sliced fresh ginger
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Sterilize jars by washing then place in a cool oven and turn the heat to 350 degrees. Leave in oven for 10 minutes at full heat then allow to cool.
  2. Remove stems from beets and wash thoroughly.
  3. Place beets in pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender.
  4. While beets are cooking, mix remaining ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 3 minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Drain beet and set aside till cool enough to handle. Once cool remove skin from the beets. It will easily peel off with your fingers. Cut beets in half or leave whole if very small.
  6. Place beets into sterilized jars with a piece of star anise and a few pieces of ginger. Pour cooled liquid over beets. Leave a ¼″ space at the top of the jar. Seal lid and allow to sit for at least 2 weeks.
Notes
Adapted from a recipe I have on a torn out page from a magazine. <g class="gr_ gr_126 gr-alert gr_gramm Punctuation multiReplace" id="126" data-gr-id="126">Unfortunately</g> there is no indication on the bit of page that indicated which magazine this recipe came from. If you know, please tell me. I'd like to give credit where credit is deserved!

Maple and Ginger Pickled Beets with Pearl Onions

Adapted from a recipe on epicurious.com

Makes enough to fill 2 – 750ml jars

  • 8 small shallots
  • 15 small to medium sized beets, washed and stems trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 6 – 2′ slices of ginger
  1. Sterilize jars by washing then place in a cool oven and turn the heat to 350 degrees. Leave in oven for 10 minutes at full heat then allow to cool.
  2. Boil shallots or pearl onions for 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve water. When cool enough to handle, remove skins from the onions.
  3. Add beets to onion water and cook until soft when pricked with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  4. While beets are boiling, add remaining ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Boil hard for 3 minutes then allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Drain beets and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel skin from beets (they will slide off easily using your hands.)
  6. Cut beets in half, or quarters if large. Fill sterilized jars with onions and beets. Add a few star anise and slices of ginger to each jar.
  7. Pour the vinegar liquid into the jars until it covers the beets and is within 1/4 inch from the top of the jar.
  8. Seal jar and allow to sit for 2 weeks in your pantry.

 

About Kristen

Kristen Stevens is the creator and editor of The Endless Meal. She is also the owner of a small underground restaurant in Vancouver, Canada.
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Comments

  1. Ari says

    Hi! I am currently living in Chile and cam across your blog while looking up things to can and pickle (the produce is amazing here!)
    One question, it has been impossible for me to find Mason or Ball jars since I’ve been down here, most things are imitation and I wonder about the quality. What kinds of jars do you recommend for the oven sterilization method? I do not have a pot big enough to facilitate a water bath.
    Love the blog, it’s been bookmarked!
    Take it easy, Ari

    • says

      Hi Ari,

      You’ll want to make sure whatever kind of glass jar you use is made from heat-proof glass. If you’re worried about the quality I would probably do a test with at least one of the jars. Make sure to put the jar in the oven when the oven is cold so the glass can warm up gently.

      Have you asked any of your friends/neighbours/locals what kinds of jars they use?

      Thank you so much for bookmarking The Endless Meal!! :)

  2. Dan G. says

    First time at your site. I was lead to it by Sriracha Butter in a slide show, “27 Ways To Cook With Sriracha” at Huffington Post, and it, lead me to your pickled beets, which I plan on making. I am curious as to why the pickling liquid added to jars is allowed to cool before adding to jars and why there is no mention of water path processing of your Ginger Pickled Baby Beets nor Maple and Ginger Pickled Beets with Pearl Onions? This defies all I have ever known and practiced and is inconsistent with USDA standards for home canning. Can you explain this to me, please?

    Thanks,

    Dan G.

    • says

      Hi Dan,

      Thank you for your question. The original recipe indicated it should be done this way and I’ve never had any problems with it. The jars are sterilized in the oven and the liquid is brought to a boil but if you feel more comfortable then you could definitely do a water bath too or return the beets and liquid to a boil right before you add them to the hot jars. I don’t bring the beets to a boil in their liquid again because I always find with other veggies and fruit that when I do it that way they get a little too soft so if you want to do an extra step I would recommend the water bath. Hope that answers your question!

  3. Mark Kenna says

    Wow…what a great blog Kristen! I dont usually cook at home and more often than not can be seen at Urban Fare during the week grabbing whats on offer for my evening meal…until that right fella comes alone that is(hope he likes to cook lol). I love the your recipes you have blogged about so far…well written and you made it sound so unintimimating… The photograhphy is delicious in itself…I will of course attempt to try and cook something myself and and will surelyyget back to you on it. All the best to you and good luck with the blog. xo

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