Spiced Pickled Beets
Pickling was popular during World War II and was considered patriotic for its frugality. Whole pickling spices, bay leaves, white wine, and sugar give these red and golden beets a bright, sweet, relish-like flavor.
- Yield: Makes 2 quarts
Photography: Ellie Miller
Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2005
- 5 medium red beets and 5 golden beets, stems trimmed (2 pounds total with greens)
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon dill seed
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, flakes
- 4 or 5 fresh bay leaves (or 6 dried)
- 1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt
Put red beets in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Repeat with golden beets in another medium saucepan. Cover each, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until beets are tender, about 30 minutes. Keeping beets separate, drain, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel beets; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Transfer to separate nonreactive containers.
Stir together the spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle beets with the spice mixture and the bay leaves, dividing evenly.
Stir together vinegar, wine, 1 1/4 cups water, the sugar, and the salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Immediately pour brine over beets, dividing evenly. Let cool completely. Cover each container, and refrigerate 7 to 10 hours. Serve cold or at room temperature. Pickled beets can be refrigerated, covered, up to 3 weeks. Transfer to smaller containers to store, if desired.