When I first started eating beets, I heard from a lot of people who absolutely adored them pickled. Every jar of pickled beets I opened was so sweet–I ended up having to give each one away to friends who happily chomped away at them. I’ve never been a fan of bread and butter pickles, so I thought if I could find a way to make savory pickled beets, I would eat more of them. My first batch of pickled beets was a success and led to countless other batches of pickled beets. I hate to say it, but I believe I’ve pickled every beet that has walked into my kitchen since that first fateful test. They are such a great addition to jazz up salads and, if you love vinegar as much as I do, you may find yourself pouring a bowl of pickled beets to munch on as a snack.
Up until this last batch, I had processed my pickles in the traditional stovetop method. There’s nothing wrong with the stovetop method, but it tends to cause my husband to complain about the strong smell of vinegar that lingers in the house long after the pickles are in their jars and tucked away. When I read about a no cook method of pickling, I got very excited. Could it really be that easy? Yes. It really can.
The bulk of the work in making these pickles is peeling and cutting the beets. After that is done, you throw some spices in your jars and then fill with beets, vinegar and water. You can use pickling spice, but I find myself always accidentally pouring the mustard seed and whole peppercorns in my salad and find that unpleasant. This recipe includes my go-to herbs that pair well with salads that I like to use instead. When I was making stovetop pickled beets, I was typically adding a small amount of sugar to the brine. For whatever reason, I forgot to do that here and couldn’t tell at all since the beets have so many natural sugars. So, this recipe also has the added bonuses of being processed sugar free and a happy accident.
Savory Pickled Beets
Yields 3-16 ounce jars
- 2 medium sized beets
- 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 teaspoons salt
- Peppercorn, rosemary, thyme, and/or dill to taste (or sub with pickling spice)
- Wash and cut off the outer layer of the beets.
- Cut the beets into uniform chunks of your preferred size. I like to make the chunks on the medium to large side because it’s less chopping and are easier to grab with a fork. Smaller pieces will pickle faster.
- Evenly divide spices into the clean jars (2 teaspoons of salt per jar). I prefer to grind my peppercorns and add a pinch of the other spices. You can use any jar you’d like for this since it will go in the refrigerator and won’t be canned.
- Combine the vinegar and water then fill each jar up to the threading near the top.
- Place the pickled beets in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. The pickles will be crunchy but slightly soft when done. Throw on a salad or eat by themselves! They will keep in the fridge for around 3 months on the conservative end (but I’ve eaten pickles much later and am still alive to tell the tale). Since these are not canned, they should be kept in the refrigerator but the vinegar will thwart off any undesirable bacterias.