Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grandma's Pickled Beets

Related article: Blogger reviewers Nichole Fromm and JonMichael Rasmus are crunching through the alphabet
In Brava Magazine
Column: Around the Table
October 2008

Says Nichole: “Beets seem to be popping up on more and more restaurant menus, which is great for anyone who loves the earthy, sweet gems. My mom gave me this quintessentially "Sconnie" [Wisconsonite] recipe. When her mother in Milwaukee put on a Sunday lunch spread, the beets would be on the relish tray alongside the ever-present ham, Kaiser rolls and potato salad. These refrigerator-pickled beets are also a great accompaniment to liverwurst and onion sandwiches. You can get fancier with this recipe by roasting the beets with rosemary or using tarragon or other spice-infused vinegar.”

Grandma's Pickled Beets

1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 bunch farmer's market beets (5-6 large or 9-10 small)

Cut off the beet greens, leaving some of the stem. Wash beets, then wrap in a foil pouch or place in a covered baking dish. Roast at 400F for 30 to 40 minutes, until fork-tender. Let cool. Peel. Slice into bite-sized rounds. (Alternately, use drained, canned sliced beets and skip the roasting step.)

Place the bay leaf and cloves in a 1-quart glass jar with a lid, and put the beets on top of them. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in saucepan, turn off heat, and stir just until sugar is dissolved. Pour vinegar and sugar into the jar and let cool a bit before putting on the lid. They are ready to serve once fully chilled, though the flavor will improve over time.

Keep refrigerated. These will last several weeks. Serve on their own, in salads, or as part of a classic relish tray with gherkins, olives, and crudites.

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