Elizabeth Shropshire Ichton

The deep shade of beet red is one of my favorite colors.
6-8 beets
1 cup good quality red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar or honey
1-1/2 teaspoons coarse (kosher) salt
1 cup of water
6 to 8 whole cloves
5 whole peppercorns
2 pieces star anise
2 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
Start the day before. Wash beets, trim greens, and tail to 1 inch. Wrap each beet tightly in aluminum foil.

Oven method: Put wrapped beets on a tray (they WILL leak!) in the oven at 350 (+/-) for about 1:15 hours. To conserve energy, roast beets when baking something else.

Grill method: Put the beets on the charcoal grill away from direct heat or after other food has been grilled, and the charcoal is still hot. Close the lid and let roast for about 1 1/2 hours (or more depending on how hot your grill stays).
Test for doneness: Use a bamboo skewer (right through the foil) to test for doneness — beets should be tender. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Make the brine by combining the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Wearing disposable gloves to keep your hands from staining, unwrap beets, squish skins off with your fingers. Cut beets into wedges or slices, and put them in canning jars— wide mouth jars are easiest. Pour the brine over the beets. Refrigerate for1 to 5 days before serving. Makes about 2 quarts.

Roasted Beet Hummus
This is a gorgeous color! Next time I make it, I will post a photo.

1 lb. roasted beets
1⁄2 cup tahini
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons green pumpkin seeds to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, to garnish
Pita bread and sliced vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, sliced cauliflower)
See pickled beets above for roasting instructions.
Drain and rub peels off the beets, protecting your hands from staining with disposable gloves. Process beets with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and nuts. Season with salt and pepper, and purée until smooth. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and pumpkin seeds.

Carrot Hummus: I’ve made this same recipe with roasted carrots. I thought it was a little bland, and perked it up with peanut butter, but I think 1 tsp. Sesame oil might be better, garnish dip with a drizzle of sesame oil.

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Elizabeth Shropshire Ichton