Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Pickled Beets

Here is the promised post on pickled beets! 

I like beets, but they are one vegetable that I find to be just a pain in the neck to prepare.  You need to either roast in the oven for an hour, or steam for a long time, or cut up and sous vide, or put in the pressure cooker.  And generally I don't want a whole bunch of beets at once, because most often they are going into a salad

So I was happy to find a recipe that you can do a whole bunch of beets at once, and then they keep for a long time (guessing 3-4 weeks), and use as desired.  The recipe is very similar to the Pickled Green Bean recipe, although it does have some orange juice added to the brine which sweetens it just a bit.  

Pickled Beets with Orange
2 pint jars (or 1 quart jar)

1 pound loose beets (about 4 medium)
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds, divided
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, divided
2 large pieces of orange zest
2 (1/8-inch-thick) orange slices, divided
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Scrub the beets, but do not dry. Wrap individually in aluminum foil (or wrap a few small ones together in one sheet) and place the packets on a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast the beets for 50 to 60 minutes. Check the beets after 30 minutes, adding a tablespoon of water to the foil packets if they look dry or begin to burn. Remove from the oven once a fork or skewer slides easily into the center of the beets. Small beets may cook more quickly than large beets.  Alternatively, you can cook the beets any way you like – steaming in a pressure cooker takes about 20 minutes of cook time. Once the beets are done roasting, set aside until cool enough to handle.

Place 1/2 teaspoon each mustard seeds and coriander seeds and a piece of orange zest into each jar (if using pints, if using quart jars put everything in the 1 jar). Place an orange slice in each jar and press to stick to the side.  Working with one at a time, rub the beets with a paper towel to remove the skin and skinny root, if still attached. Cut the beets in half, then cut into 1-inch wedges. Pack the beets into the jars, leaving 1/2-inch of space at the top. 

Place the vinegar, water, orange juice, and salt in a large measuring cup.  Heat to boiling in the microwave.  Stir to dissolve the salt. Pour the pickling liquid over the beets, leaving 1/2-inch space at the top of the jar; it's OK if you don't use all of the liquid.  Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Top off with additional pickling liquid if needed. Cover with the lids.  Let cool on the counter, then refrigerate at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours before serving.    Beets will be good to 3-4 weeks.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Pickled Green Beans .. Pickled Kohlrabi ... Pickle Anything!

As we shelter at home, I have been doing my best to make sure we are eating healthy.  We do get take-out once a week or so for a break from cooking, and we do seem to have baked goods around but I try to offset that with lots of vegetables ... fortunately it's spring and the farmers market has some great product. At the Coronado Farmers Market where I go, most of the the farmers are there, but the organic farm that I buy my greens, root vegetables like radishes and carrots, and random other vegetables has just been offering boxes. From what I have been reading, many small farmers who typically supplied to restaurants are now offering CSA-type boxes.  The boxes I have been getting are wonderful ... 

A long, long time ago I wrote a post on what to do with all the greens from a CSA box, and I have been hitting those recipes and more, like spinach crusted quiche, beans and greens, curried lentils and salads.   I made some calzones with a mixture of greens that came out really nice and will post that at some point. Plus I share some of my greens with a neighbor when there is just too much (she was able the buy a 25 pound bag of flour, which she has shared both as flour and as baked into above mentioned treats).  My box has included lots of beets, last week I got some kohlrabi so I have been doing some quick pickles.  Quick pickles extend the life of vegetables, and are a quick side dish or appetizer.  Pickled kohlrabi goes great with sandwiches (a nice crunchy-salty bite that is not a chip) and pickled green beans are great for picnics and cookouts which hopefully we can get back to this summer!

After lots of experiments, my go-to quick pickle base is 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of salt plus spices. (note - if you are using fine grain sea salt, only use 2 teaspoons as if is more dense). There are lots of variations:  many pickle recipes call for sugar in addition to salt, all types of vinegar (personally I'm too cheap to use expensive wine vinegars, and white vinegar is sometimes a bit sharp), various ratios of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar.  What this means is that most anything works!  I generally add some red pepper flakes to give the pickles a little kick, but do whatever sounds good to you!

Pro tip... if using pint jars, trim the green beans to fit.  Use quart jars if you have long green beans. 

Pickled Green Beans

Makes: 1 quart-sized jar or 2 pint-sized jars
1 pound green string beans
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons sea salt

Wash the green beans, and to fit into the jar.  Pack the beans into the jar(s).   Put the garlic, red pepper, mustard seeds and black peppercorns into the jar (if using 2 pint jars, put half into each jar). 
Put the vinegar, water, and salt into a large glass measuring cup, then heat in the microwave until boiling (about 3 ½ minutes or so).  

Pour the hot liquid into the filled jars.   Tap the jars to release bubbles, add more liquid if needed.  You want all of the beans covered.   Let cool on the counter, then refrigerate. 
They need a couple of days to “pickle” but are good for 2 – 3 weeks after that. 

Pickled Kohlrabi
Same as pickled Green Beans, except use 1 large kohlrabi peeled and cut into sticks (like big French fries) instead of green beans.  Omit the garlic and add ½ teaspoon coriander seeds.  


Pickled beet post coming soon!
Pickled Beet Recipe coming soon!