Beets may not be in season yet, but growers and gardeners can begin planting them for an early summer harvest. Still, you can find plenty of canned beets and fresh ones at some markets and grocers.
Since a child, I have loved beets, and each summer I looked forward to my grandmother’s pickled beets. We ate them just about every night until she had none left in her garden to harvest.
Here’s a try at how my grandmother told me to prepare them before she passed on several years ago. You’ll find pickled beets fairly easy to prepare and tastier the next day as leftovers.
Here’s what you’ll need to prepare the beets:
6 small beets (3 medium if you can’t find the small ones)
¼ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of water
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ cup of vinegar
½ teaspoon of allspice (My grandmother put in cinnamon or cloves.)
Fresh beets will need to be boiled for about 45 minutes or until they’re tender, and then
you’ll want to let them cool for about 15 minutes, so you can peel the skin off.
Make sure you wash your hands after peeling a couple of beets or you might end up with purple fingers for a day or two.
Once peeled, slice them or leave them whole. If you’re using slightly larger beets, slicing them might be best.
My grandmother never let a beet grow as large as the ones I found at the grocery store – these looked huge to me.
Then, put your water, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and allspice in a saucepan. Add your beet slices and allow them to come to a boil. Then, let the beets simmer for about 15 minutes. You can let them cool and refrigerate them.
This recipe serves about two people. If you're cooking for more than two, you might want to double the ingredients.
Pickled beets taste best when served cold. But many times when I'm just cooking for myself and can't wait to eat, I serve them warm.
– Bobbie Whitehead