Traditional spiced beets pickle. TNS
Everyone sort of assumes it is the chicken. Everyone thinks that the process of pickling was invented as a way of preserving food in a time long before refrigeration, and that people who tried it decided that it tasted great, too.
Pickles are wonderful, and they last a long time. They’re the best of both worlds.
And they don’t have to be cucumbers. A wide variety of vegetables and even fruit can be pickled, with excellent results.
PICKLED GREEN BEANS
3 pounds green beans or yellow wax beans, stem ends removed
2 tablespoons salt, plus more for blanching
6 garlic cloves
6 small dried chile peppers
6 sprigs fresh herbs, such as basil, dill, tarragon, Thai basil or cilantro
3 1/2 cups white-wine vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
30 black peppercorns
30 coriander seeds
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Blanch the beans in well-salted boiling water (3 tablespoons of salt to 1 gallon of water) for 60 to 90 seconds, until they are bright and pliable but not cooked through. Drain and shock in the ice water. Trim to 4-inch lengths if necessary to fit into pint jars.
2. Divide the garlic, chilies and herbs equally among 6 prepared pint jars. Pack the beans into the jars.
3. Combine the vinegar, water, the 2 tablespoons of salt, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns and coriander in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Ladle the hot syrup over the beans, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal, and process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.
Per serving (based on 12): 82 calories; 1 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 3 g protein; 15 g carbohydrate; 6 g sugar; 5 g fiber; 1,182 mg sodium; 89 mg calcium
Recipe from “Saving the Season” by Kevin West
TRADITIONAL SPICED BEETS
Yield: 4 pints
6 pounds small beets (6 to 8 bunches)
2 cups wine vinegar, white or red
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons salt
3 inches cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
5 allspice berries
1/2 pod star anise
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water, and set aside. Trim the beet greens to 1 inch above the root, but leave the root’s skinny “tail” intact to prevent bleeding. Boil the beets whole in unsalted water until a skewer pierces them easily, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the vinegar syrup. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice and star anise in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside to steep.
3. When the beets are tender, drain and plunge them into ice water. Slip them out of their skins, tidying up the root and stem ends with a knife as necessary. Cut the beets into quarters and pack them snugly into 4 prepared (clean and sterile) pint jars.
4. Ladle the hot syrup into the jars, straining it through a small, fine-mesh sieve to capture the aromatics. Gently shake the jar as you fill it to settle the beets. Leave 1/2 inch headspace. Run a skewer or other thin implement around the inside to release air pockets. Seal the jars, and process in a boiling-water bath for 30 minutes. Allow to cure at least a week before opening.
Per serving (based on 16): 132 calories; 1 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 3 g protein; 30 g carbohydrate; 24 g sugar; 6 g fiber; 575 mg sodium; 43 mg calcium
Tribune News Service
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