The time has come to revisit beta vulgaris on the tasty tRuth. But this time, instead of eeking their essence out in a batch of the popular chocolate beet cupcakes, we look this root straight in the eye, and ask, “Hey beet, how can we enhance and preserve your natural flavor?”
If beets could talk, they would probably respond. “Roast me and then pickle me! Anything to get off this chilly farmer’s market display.”
And the outspoken beet would be right, because pickling is not only an easy way to preserve the natural flavor of a vegetable for a long period of time, but the ingredients in the brine kick the excitement up a notch.
I haven’t pickled anything before, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea since this summer. New York City is big on pickling things. Home of the original kosher deli pickle, now there are several well-known pickle companies in the area and countless food trucks and restaurants that basically don’t serve anything that hasn’t been pickled. In fact they were on the salad I had a Red Rooster Harlem from last week’s post.
It’s hip to be a pickle in New York City. What a weird but true sentence to write.
And so this is either my valiant attempt to be hip, or just another tRuthful adventure of a curious, beet-loving cook.
Feel free to add any fresh herbs or other vegetables into the mix. This is a very basic brine recipe but it certainly achieves the sought after tang of a successfully pickled vegetable.
6 medium beets, cleaned of dirt
2 cups white wine vinegar
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 large red onion, frenched
Roast beets on a baking sheet with a shallow layer of water in a 400 degree oven until tender to the fork, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then peel and slice thinly. Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a pot, bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Layer the sliced beets and onions in glass containers with tight-fitting lids, and fill to top with brine. Store in the fridge for 3-7 days before serving.
Have you pickled anything before? How do your brine recipes compare?