Pickled Golden Beetroot

This Pickled Golden Beetroot is crisp and vinegary with a hint of sweetness from honey. An essential addition to your autumn cheeseboard.

Pickled Golden Beetroot

This post has been re-posted from 2013 as I’ve updated the photos and the recipe to make the instructions clearer. Reading back it seems a simpler time without a toddler thrown into the mix, before I started selling my preserves and when we had a study and not a nursery. Also, I still cut my beetroot into chunks rather than slice them – ever awkward.

‘Tis the season to be pickling, jarring, canning, jamming. A wonderfully therapeutic pastime, certainly not made more challenging with a bouncing eight-week-old puppy swirling around your feet as you are carrying searing hot jars out of the scalding water of their water bath. No siree, easy peasy pudding and… holy mother of hot water. Don’t worry only the cook was harmed in the canning of this beetroot. Turns out puppies don’t make good sous chefs, this one will have to be trained by Wesley who was very helpful in preparing the beetroot.

Beetroot
Cat with beetrootMy shelves are laden with goodies for the coming winter, for if the apocalypse should rain down upon us I am safe in the knowledge that I can feed two cats, a puppy and a husband with chutneys, jellies and marmalades for a good few months.  A rainbow of colours has been cast on my cheap thrown together bookshelves which certainly doesn’t get me in trouble every time I balance a further few kilos of canned goods amongst the books.  The study is slowly morphing into the pantry and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Golden BeetrootI found these gleaming chaps buried under an inch of soil at the farmers market, their inner beauty only truly shining through after they had been boiled and peeled. They truly are a beautiful vegetable. I can’t wait until Christmas when they will be adorning buffet tables and being included in late night cheddar cheese sandwiches with crusty bread.

It was only afterwards that comments were made upon my decision to quarter the beetroot rather than slice it as apparently it makes for rather awkward cheese and beetroot sandwiches. Ah, screw ‘em.

Pickled Golden Beetroot

 Just a word to the wise, although I won’t hammer home the point like some of the recipes I read which made canning beetroot sound terribly frightening, the acidity in this particular vegetable is very low so vinegar quantities cannot be messed with unless you want to kill off your whole family on Boxing Day with botulism. For my water bath I use a huge preserving pan that I bought for a few pounds from Ikea many years ago and it has been of invaluable use, being sufficiently deep and wide for this purpose. I would recommend though, that if you haven’t used a water bath for canning before, then do read up on it thoroughly before you go so you have all the right information.

Pickled Golden Beetroot

Print Recipe
Pickled Golden Beetroot
This Pickled Golden Beetroot is crisp and vinegary with a hint of sweetness from honey. An essential addition to your autumn cheeseboard.
Pickled Golden Beetroot
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 80 minutes
Servings
8x 190g jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg golden beetroot
  • 720 ml cider vinegar
  • 50 g honey
  • teaspoons salt
  • cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 270 ml water
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 80 minutes
Servings
8x 190g jars
Ingredients
  • 1 kg golden beetroot
  • 720 ml cider vinegar
  • 50 g honey
  • teaspoons salt
  • cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 270 ml water
Pickled Golden Beetroot
Instructions
  1. Wash the beetroot thoroughly then cook it whole submerged in boiling water for about half an hour.
  2. Drain them and dunk them in a bowl of icy water, then remove and rub off their skins.
  3. Cut the beetroot into large pieces.
  4. Meanwhile prepare the water bath. Place a tea towel or wire trivet in the bottom of your pan so your jars do not touch the bottom of the pan and fill with water and 2 teaspoons of vinegar*. Bring to the boil, it should be at a rolling boil for a good 15 minutes before you add your jars. This is also a good time to sterilise your jars and lids.**
  5. In a saucepan add the vinegar, honey, salt, cinnamon, peppercorns and water and bring to a boil. As soon as it is boiling add your beetroot then bring it back up to a boil. When it reaches a simmer then turn off.
  6. Quickly divide the beetroot and liquid between your jars leaving a bit of headspace in the neck of the jar. Remove the air bubbles with a chopstick and place the lids on, adjusting so that it is just finger tight.
  7. Submerge your jars into the water bath so that they are covered by an inch of water and sitting upright on the tea towel or trivet. Pop the lid on and boil full blast for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the jars with a jar lifter and leave them undisturbed in a safe place until they have cooled down completely. Test the lids to make sure they have been sealed and don’t pop up when pressed.
  9. These can be stored for about a year and eaten whenever you want in between.
Recipe Notes

*The vinegar is added to ensure the jars stay lovely and clean when in the waterbath, otherwise the boiling water can give them an unattractive film.
**To sterilise the jars place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.

Salmon Beetroot and Dill Gravlax

Salmon Beetroot and Dill Gravlax

These past few mornings have been particularly unhospitable for new dog walkers like ourselves.  At an ungodly hour we bundle up in hats, scarves, gloves and holey thermals to traipse round a gloomy Finsbury Park, watching as the sun lazily climbs the sky.  The puppy loves to crunch his paws on the glittery leaves as we dangerously skid after him on icy puddles.  The forty minutes we are in the park London comes alive, as the trickle of hardened joggers and committed dog walkers are soon followed by the whoosh of hi-vis cyclists tempting puppy with the chase.  By 8am a gentle stream of commuters are taking the shortcut through the park on the way to the tube.  The morning may have arrived but it has not yet brought any warmth.

IMG_3095These frosted mornings have encouraged me to seek out comfort in classic cooking.  The bright fresh unfussy influence of Scandinavian recipes has been luring me in, shown off in photographs with the natural clear light you can only get in a Nordic kitchen.  I have been to neither Sweden, Norway nor Denmark but the urge to visit has been growing year on year and 2014 I think may be the year to finally splurge across the sea.
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This salmon gravlax, a quintessential Scandinavian dish, is simple but very effective for special occasions.  It’s vastly preferred in our house to bought smoked salmon which can sometimes feel too greasy and overpowering.  But this salmon is delicate and richly flavoured and stunning with the blush of beetroot.

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If you want to scale it down for a more intimate occasion then it can easily be done with a couple of salmon fillets and less of the cure.  The preparation takes next to no time then just a few days of sitting pretty in the fridge, so don’t feel like you have to wait for a feasting occasion.   Just so you know, valentines is around the corner.

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Salmon Beetroot and Dill Gravlax

Adapted for quantities from Diana Henry’s Salt Sugar Smoke
Serves 12

1 kilo salmon fillet
6 tbsp vodka
125g granulated sugar
100g sea salt flakes
2 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
large bunch dill, roughly chopped
400g raw beetroot, grated

  1. Check the salmon for any bones that the fishmonger might have missed and remove.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, salt, pepper, dill and beetroot.
  3. Line a large dish, big enough to hold the salmon with two large layers of foil. Lay the salmon on top and sprinkle with the vodka, rubbing over to make sure it’s absorbed.
  4. Tip all the beetroot and dill mixture over and make sure the salmon is fully coated.
  5. Wrap the foil tightly over the salmon, tucking it in at all sides.
  6. Place in the fridge for 2-4 days, making sure to turn the salmon regularly so the cure reaches all of the salmon. If liquid seeps through the foil, just pour it off.
  7. Remove the foil and scrape the dill and beetroot off the salmon.
  8. Serve slivered finely with a pickled cucumber salad and rye bread.
  9. The salmon keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
salmon gravadlax