Refrigerator pickled beets are a delightful and easy way to preserve the freshness of beets while infusing them with tangy, flavorful goodness. It’s a simple process that doesn’t involve canning or complex procedures, making it accessible to anyone looking to enjoy homemade pickled beets.
- 3 to 4 medium-sized fresh beets (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Optional: herbs like dill or spices like cloves for extra flavor
Step-by-Step Recipe for Refrigerator Pickled Beets
1. Prepare the Beets:
- Wash the beets thoroughly under a cold running water bath to remove dirt.
- Trim off the beet greens and root ends.
- Peel the beets using a vegetable peeler.
2. Cook the Beets:
- Place the beets in a pot and cover them with water.
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cook the beets for about 20-30 minutes or until they’re tender when pierced with a fork.
- Once done, remove the beets from the pot and let them cool.
3. Prepare the Pickling Liquid:
- Combine the wine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and any optional herbs or spices in another pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.
- Remove the pot from heat and let the pickling liquid cool to room temperature.
4. Slice or Dice the Beets:
- Once the beets have cooled, slice or dice them into the desired size and shape. You can go for rounds or cubes, depending on your preference.
5. Pack the Beets:
- Place the sliced or diced beets into a clean glass jar or container. Make sure it has a tight-fitting lid.
6. Pour the Pickling Liquid:
- Carefully pour the cooled pickling liquid over the beets in the jar, ensuring they’re completely covered.
7. Refrigerate and Wait:
- Seal the jar tightly and place it in the refrigerator.
- Allow the beets to pickle for at least 24 hours before tasting. The longer they sit, the more flavorful they become.
8. Enjoy the Pickled Beets:
- Once pickled to your liking, serve the beets as a delicious side dish, in salads, or as a tangy topping for sandwiches.
How to Roast Beets for Pickling?
- Prepare the Beets: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Wash the beets thoroughly under cold water to remove any dirt. Trim off the tops and roots of the beets.
- Wrap in Foil: Place each beet on a separate piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over each beet and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap each beet tightly in the foil.
- Roast in the Oven: Put the foil-wrapped beets on a baking sheet and place them in the preheated oven. Roast for about 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. You’ll know they’re done when you can easily pierce them with a fork.
- Cool and Peel: Once the beets are done roasting, remove them from the oven and let them cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, use your fingers to peel off the skin – it should come off easily. Wear gloves if you want to avoid staining your hands.
- Slice or Dice: Slice or dice the roasted beets according to your preference. You can cut them into rounds, cubes, or any shape you like for your pickling jars.
- Prepare Pickling Liquid: Now, it’s time to prepare the pickling liquid. This usually involves a mix of vinegar, water, sugar, and spices. Heat this mixture in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
- Jar the Beets: Place the sliced or diced roasted beets into sterilized jars. Pour the hot pickling liquid over the beets, making sure they’re completely submerged. Seal the jars tightly.
- Let Them Pickle: Allow the jars to cool to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator. The longer you let the beets sit in the pickling liquid, the more flavorful they’ll become. They should be ready to enjoy within a few days.
Can I Use Packaged Pre-Cooked Beets?
Yes, using packaged pre-cooked beets can be a convenient and healthy option. These are already cooked beets, peeled, and sealed for freshness, making them ready to use straight from the package.
Can The Amount of Sugar be reduced?
Yes, reducing the sugar content in refrigerator pickled beets is possible. When pickling beets, sugar is often used not just for sweetness but also for preservation and balance of flavors. However, the amount of sugar can be adjusted to suit personal taste preferences or dietary needs without compromising the safety of the pickling process.
Can I Make The Beets Without Sugar Or Sweetener?
Pickled beets without sugar or sweeteners are possible, although the taste might differ slightly from traditional recipes. Here’s a breakdown of how sugar free beets can be done and some important points to consider:
- Vinegar (white vinegar, apple cider vinegar)
- Optional: spices (like cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns) for flavor
- Prepare the Beets: Start by thoroughly washing the beets and cutting them into slices or wedges.
- Brine Preparation: In a saucepan, combine equal parts vinegar and water (like 1 cup each) and add salt to taste. Optionally, add spices for flavor.
- Boil the Brine: Bring the pickling brine mixture to a boil with the beets and let it simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors.
- Prepare the Jars: Sterilize glass jars by boiling them in hot water or running them through the dishwasher.
- Pack the Jars: Pack the sliced beets into the sterilized jars, leaving some space at the top.
- Pour the Brine: Carefully pour the hot brine over the beets, leaving a bit of headspace in the jars.
- Seal the Jars: Seal the jars tightly and let them cool to room temperature. As they cool, you might hear the lids pop, indicating a proper seal.
- Store and Wait: Store the jars in the refrigerator for a few days to let the flavors develop. The longer they sit, the more flavorful they become.
How Soon Can Pickled Beets Be Eaten?
Pickled beets are an easy-to-make and tangy treat, and the good news is, they can be enjoyed relatively quickly after preparing them. Once you’ve pickled your beets, they typically need a bit of time to develop their flavor. While you can technically eat them right after pickling, let them sit for at least 24 hours so that they can enhance their taste so that you can enjoy and love this recipe.
What to Serve with Pickled Beets?
Here are some delightful pairings that can make pickled beets shine:
Go for Variety: Mix pickled beets into green salads for a zesty twist. Add leafy greens, feta cheese, walnuts, and a light vinaigrette dressing for a delicious combination.
2. Sandwiches and Wraps:
Layer it Up: Incorporate pickled beets into sandwiches or wraps. Combine them with roasted vegetables, hummus, or sliced turkey for an extra kick of flavor.
3. Appetizer Platters:
Create a Spread: Serve pickled beets as part of an appetizer platter with cheese, crackers, olives, and cured meats for a balanced and flavorful assortment.
4. Side Dishes:
Pair with Proteins: They pair well with grilled or roasted meats like chicken, beef, or pork. Their tanginess can balance the richness of the dish.
5. Pickled Beet Relish:
Get Creative: Transform quick pickled beets into a relish by finely chopping them and mixing them with onions, herbs, and a touch of vinegar. This relish can be used as a topping for burgers or grilled vegetables.
How to Carve Pickled Beets?
1. Prepare Your Pickled Beets:
- Drain the pickled beets from the jar and rinse them gently under running water to remove excess brine.
- Pat them dry with a paper towel to make the surface easier to work with.
2. Choose Your Shapes:
- Decide on the shapes you’d like to carve. Common shapes include slices, cubes, or even artistic shapes like hearts or stars.
3. Slice the Beets:
- Place the pickled beet on the cutting board.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the beet into your desired shapes. For example:
- Slices: Cut the beet crosswise for round slices.
- Cubes: Cut the beet into small, even pieces for cubes.
- Artistic Shapes: Use small cookie cutters or carve freehand with the knife for creative shapes.
4. Handle with Care:
- Pickled beets can be fragile, so handle them gently to maintain their shape.
5. Serve or Store:
- Once carved, you can serve the pickled beets immediately as part of a salad, as a garnish, or as a side dish.
- If you’re not serving them right away, the canned beets can be stored in the refrigerator.