I’ve begun pickling weekly vegetables for my friend Annie Izaki, owner of Moon Fox Farm, to sell on Sunday’s at the Kensington farmer’s market. The farm is on 5 acres of land between Petaluma and Point Reyes. She uses biodynamic practices and grows many types of heirloom varietals. Today I am pickling her Red and Chioggia Beets. Farmer Annie is a part of CSA box deliveries and wholesale to the Bay Area. Here’s her website to see how you can sign up for one of her fresh produce box delivieries! www.moonfoxfarm.com
I washed and trimmed the beets thoroughly, then place them into a foil pouch with salt/pepper/olive oil and baked for 1-1.5 hours, just until tender at 350F.
After roasting, open the foil pouches and let the beets cool. With gloves and a paper towel, peel the skins off the beets. They should peel easily when cooked long enough. Cut the ends off the beets and quarter or halve them.
You must wash and sterilize your pickling jars and lids according to the package prior to canning. There are two methods, boiling the jars or placing them in an 250F oven for at least 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the pickling liquid.
4 Cups of Champagne, White Wine, or Rice Vinegar
4 Cups of Water
2 Cups of Sugar
2 Tbs Salt
Black Peppercorns or any spices you desire.
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiled, add your beets and boil for about 5 minutes. Divide the beets and liquid into each jar being sure to use sterilized equipment (i.e. funnel/tongs/lids). Make sure you leave at least 1 inch of airspace between the jar lid and the liquid. Wipe the rim of the jars of food particles. Carefully place sterilized lids on top of jars and screw on the rings, but do not screw super tight.
Lower the jars carefully into a large pot of boiling water. Simmer the jars for at least 30 minutes to create the vacuum seal (time varies with altitude).
Carefully remove the jars from the boiling water. Let them cool on the kitchen counter. Screw the rings on tighter too. As the jars cool down overnight, the button on the middle of the metal lid will disappear and lock down if sealed properly. If the button is still popped up, this means the jar was not sealed properly and can spoil, so you will need to remove the lid and repeat the boiling procedure with a fresh lid to create a proper seal.
You can pickle ust about any vegetable! Most vegetables do not need to be cooked before adding the hot pickling liquid. If you are pickling just for your home, you can skip the canning procedure and just boil your pickling liquid, and pour it on top of your roasted/peeled beets and set aside to cool. They will keep in your refrigerator in the pickling liquid for several weeks!