I’ve been lucky to have some good-looking beets in my CSA boxes lately. I’ve loved beets for as long as I can remember. As a child, they usually came in cans, and to be honest, I could sit and eat all of them straight from the can. We were fortunate to have homegrown beets from time to time (though not necessarily grown at our home). Mom always made sure to can some to cook with butter later (my favorite way). And she always pickled some.
It’s now my turn to decide what to do with beets. I wanted to do something other than cook the ones in my CSA box. I’d never tried fermented beets and didn’t know if I’d like them raw. But if you never try something, you’ll never know.
Now if I was going to try something different to me, it seemed to make sense to try something different in the prep. Last year I bought a Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer but never used it. This seemed like the right time. There are many versions of vegetable cutters at many price points.
The first step is to clean and peel the beets. (If your beets came with their leafy tops, don’t toss them. They are great lightly steamed or sauteed.) You can slice them, chop them, spiralize them, or if small, leave them whole. Put them in a clean jar. I had 4 or 5 medium to large beets, and they fit in a quart jar. I added 1/2 tablespoon of pickling spices. You can add more or less, to your taste. Then cover with a basic brine (19 grams sea salt to quart of water). I held back some of the beets as slices and used them to help hold the beets under the brine. Now I used a Fido, and supposedly keeping the food under the brine isn’t necessary. But I tend to err on the side of caution. Cover and set aside to let Mother Nature do her work. Be sure to burp your jar if you’re not using an airlock.
I let mine ferment for just over a week. It is pretty hot in my apartment, so things tend to ferment quickly. Taste after a few days. Let your taste buds be your guide to when it’s done. Mine were to my liking after about 10 days.
If I can get more beets, I’m going to make them again. I may parboil some to see what difference that makes in taste and texture. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy these.© Copyright 2014 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook