Some like ’em not

There are people out there who can’t stand beets, and people who love them. And then there are people like me, who love beets, but resent them for needing more than 12-1/2 minutes to cook. Once in a blue moon I buy beets, roast them with olive oil, salt and a little balsamic vinegar and really enjoy them. But usually I buy them, and let them languish in the fridge for weeks. Soft, wrinkled beets are only good for the compost.

So this week, inspired by four batches of increasingly successful modified bread and butter pickles, I tried a new (for me) experiment to transform two quarts of smallish beets into something that actually lasts.

The idea was simple: pickled beets. But I wasn’t  inspired by any of the recipes I found, which meant mixing and matching from a host of internet/recipe book ideas. I wanted something spicier and less sweet than most of the recipes I found, and I did want to water bath the finished product so I could be sure it would last. I added allspice, because it worked so well with the cucumbers, and crushed red pepper as well as black peppercorns because I wanted a bit of a kick. And I threw in a few sliced up cloves of garlic, because deep purple pickled garlic reminds me of Moscow, and because it was really good. The liquid was a mix of cider vinegar (half organic, half regular because that’s what was in the pantry), and the juice the beets cooked in. That should add a notch of flavor, no?

The recipe I followed more than the others says to let them mature at least 6-8 weeks before sampling the bounty, but I’m not sure I can wait that long.

Anyone got any experience on how long one really needs to wait?

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