My Ukrainian Baba makes the best pickled beets in the world.
I’m sorry to anyone else who’s Baba makes beets, but they aren’t as good as these beets.
My Baba also lives in Alberta. Which means when I run out of Baba’s pickled beets, we’re really out. For a looooong time.
With the addition of our Vegetable Coop this year, however, and a hand written recipe from my Baba. I made my own beets. And I have to say. They were awesome. So awesome that I’m glad we have another crop of beets ready in another week or so, because I don’t care if I’ll be a week postpartum, I am so pickling beets.
Here’s how it goes.
Harvest your beets.
Separate the beets from the stems from the greens. Like so.
And rinse each thoroughly.
Beet greens are pretty much interchangeable with spinach in green smoothies. And since my midwife suggests that I get 800 servings of dark green leafy veggies a day, all of these beauties went into the spinach carton in the fridge for smoothie purposes.
For the little beet bodies, scrub off the dirt and pick off the scraggly roots, leaving the main root, and some of the tops. Submerge and boil until almost tender. (Don’t forget to have your water bath canner heating up, and get your jars and lids washed and ready.)
Meanwhile, prepare your pickling liquid. You’ll need about 6 cups of liquid per 4 pounds of beets. 2 cups water, 2 cups vinegar and 2 cups of sugar, plus 2 tbsp. pickling spices. Bring to simmer and turn off the heat.
When the beets are tender, and cool enough to handle with clean dish gloves, slip off the skins with a dry paper towel. Then them cut into pieces.
Pack the beets into clean jars and pour in hot pickling liquid (pour it though a strainer first) leaving 1/2″ headspace. Cover and process for 30 minutes from when the water starts to boil. (If you’re new to canning here is a link to get you started.) Let the beets pickle for at least a week before serving.