Sunday, June 6, 2010

single-jar pickling

Canning and pickling can be a great idea when you're faced with a bounty of some particular crop from your CSA, or find a great deal on a large quantity of something, or just want to make sure you're supplied with pickles you made yourself all year round.

But if you like the taste of pickled vegetables or homemade jam, there's no reason to limit yourself to doing it as a big project.

We've used up all of our homemade cucumber pickles (note to self: buy a few more jars worth of pickles this summer!) and the smaller batch of pickled beets I made last fall too. But we still had a few beets in the refrigerator drawer from our last winter CSA pickup. So before we get our first CSA box this week, I mixed up a quick jar of pickled beets to empty out the drawer a bit and to have more cold vegetable options as we head into the warmer season.

The recipe is simple, and no do for a quart of liquid and 4 beets than it would be for several gallons of liquid and a lot more beets. Honestly, with beets I think it's easier to make one jar than more since each jar you fill requires peeling and slicing enough beets to go inside!

easy pickled beets

(makes 1 quart size canning jar)

4-6 medium beets, cooked until tender, peeled, and sliced
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tsp caraway seeds

Sterilize the jar in boiling water (I actually skip this step when I'm making a small batch that will not be stored in the pantry forever... but please don't use me as your food safety authority!) Put the sliced beets directly into the jar as you slice them. Add the garlic and caraway seeds directly into the jar.

For the pickling liquid:

6 dl (or 2.5 cups) red wine vinegar
1.5 dl (or 5/8 cup) water
60 grams sugar (a quarter cup plus a teaspoon will do, if you don't have a kitchen scale)
22 grams salt (about 3.5 teaspoons)

Heat the liquid with the sugar and salt until the are dissolved and the water comes to a boil. Then pour the water directly into the jar, cover, and let cool. The beets should be ready to eat after pickling at room temperature for a few weeks.
Store in the refrigerator after you open the jar.

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