Pickled Beets

Rainbow Beets

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious…The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin‘s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

I just bought a bunch of absolutely beautiful rainbow beets from the Copley Square Farmer’s Market, and prepared them by roasting them in the oven, then pickling them. A lovely way to bid a bittersweet farewell to the farmer’s market, to the Fall, and prepare for the approaching Winter…

Pickled Beets

  • 4-6 large beets, tops cut off, leaving about 1″ remaining (Do not discard beet greens! They’re delicious and nutritious and can be cooked like any other hearty green.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 TB kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Wash beets well, then wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, testing with a knife – when the blade slides in easily, they are ready. Remove from oven and cool enough to peel off the skins – they should slide off easily when the beets are rubbed.  Slice the beets into 1/4″-thick slices.  Bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to a boil. Add the beets and onion and cook for a minute or two.  Cool and refrigerate.  Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

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