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Pickled Red and Gold Beets

Choose firm, rounded beets with smooth skins and no noticeable bruising. Before cooking the beets, trim off the greens, which are delicious steamed or sautéed.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. each red and gold beets, peeled
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 1 Tbs. cardamom seeds
  • 1 Tbs. whole cloves
  • 1 Tbs. ground allspice
  • Pinch of salt

Directions:

Put the red beets and the gold beets in separate saucepans and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid from the gold beets. Let cool slightly.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, cut into slices 1/4 inch thick and divide them and the onion and garlic slices evenly between 2 sterilized 1-quart canning jars.

In a saucepan, combine the reserved cooking liquid, the vinegar, sugar, cardamom, cloves, allspice and salt. Place over medium heat and heat, stirring, just long enough to dissolve the sugar, then pour over the beets, immersing them fully and filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Using a hot, damp towel, wipe the rims clean. Seal tightly with lids and screw bands. Process the jars in a hot-water bath for 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a wire cooling rack, let cool to room temperature and check for a good seal. Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months. If the seal is not good, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes 2 quarts.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking Series, The Heartland, by Beth Dooley (Time-Life Books, 2001).