That beetroot glut I mentioned recently – though scarred by harsh, acidic pickles from my youth, I had a balsamic vinegar pickled onion recently and it was a revelation. Sweet, rich, and a world away from the battery acid globes of yesteryear, I resolved on the spot to have a go at my own.
In the absence of teeny tiny onions at the markets, I figured beetroot would respond equally well.
Having boiled up a few both trad red and fancy new gold varieties for a different recipe, I had a go at 2 different pickles. One, a trad ‘proper’ pickle and the other a quick refrigerator one. Here’s the first:
Quick Fridge Beetroot Pickle
This is not in any way sterile, so will not keep long – which won’t be a problem, because it’s delicious! It also takes about 3 minutes to prep.
Take your left over, cooked beetroot, slice thinly (5mm ish) and place in a bowl or clean jar. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper if desired. Mix white balsamic vinegar (you can use the more traditional, proper dark version if you like but white lets that gorgeous colour shine through) with water at a 2:3 ratio. Probably about a cup in all. For one medium beet, use a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt and mix until dissolved with enough of the vinegar/water mix to completely cover the beets – pour over the cut veg and pop in the fridge for at least 24 hours to begin to pickle. 2 or 3 days is perfect.
The result is soft but peppy, not too sharp, and the sugar takes away some of the earthiness of the roots. I’ve added them to salads, sandwiches, and used them as accompaniments to Japanese style rice dishes. The pinky red – truly one of my favourite colours – looks stunning against white sushi rice! Promise you it won’t be in the fridge for long!