Pickling is a great way to save vegetables that you know you just can’t get to before they go bad. Two of the easiest items to pickle are beets and cucumbers.
What You Need:
Cucumbers or Beets
White Distilled Vinegar
Garlic and fresh dill – if pickling cucumbers
What To Do:
Beets – Wash the beets, scrub the skin under water and cut off the top and bottom of the beet. Boil the cleaned beets for 20 minutes on medium, or until tender. Remove the beets from the water (DO NOT THROW OUT THE BEET WATER!), let cool until you can safely peel the skin off of the beet without burning yourself.
To the pot, add vinegar and sugar (if you so choose), along with the pickling spices. bring to a boil – making a brine. Once you have peeled the beets, cut them into slices, chunks, or leave them whole – put them into jars and then pour the hot brine over the beets until the liquid has covered the beets and close the lids tightly.
Cucumbers/Pickles – Cut the Cucumbers into your desired form, spears, whole, slices, what have you, and add them to jars. On the stove, in a sauce pan add vinegar, water, garlic, fresh dill sprigs, and pickling spices to a rapid boil. Pour the brine over the cucumbers, filling each jar to the top of the vegetable and close the lid tightly.
Let the jars cool in both cases before putting in the fridge.
You can pickle so many things – green beans, garlic cloves, peppers of all types. These all serve as great toppings to meals. I use the beets in my salads or to serve as an appetizer with cut oranges and goat cheese. This looks great next to a cheese plate – invite your friends over and wow them with this quick salad, a plate of cheese, and a great wine pairing!