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My mom has always made these pickled beets every summer and I have carried on the tradition with my family. You can keep them in the refrigerator and add more cooked beets to the liquid when they start to get low.
We also add shelled, hard boiled eggs to the juice, and after 2 to 3 days, they are a beautiful purple all the way down to the yolk (and taste divine!). Slice these eggs, and they are a stunning garnish to salads.
Put beets in a large saucepan or stockpot and add enough cold water to cover them with 3 inches over the top. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to maintain a slow boil. Cook until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Pour water off and let beets cool. Slip skins off once the beets are cool enough to handle. Slice and set aside.
Place the sugar, cider vinegar, water, salt, and spices in a smaller saucpan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour this pickling liquid into a large glass jar (1.5 liter or 1/2 gallon), add the sliced beets, cover with a lid and refrigerate. Let the beets sit at least a week before tasting.
Add shelled hard boiled eggs to the mixture as well. Try to use them in 2 to 3 days. If left in the pickling liquid too long, they turn rubbery.
Keep adding more cooked beets (and eggs) as needed. May keep in the refrigerator up to 6 months.
These beets make a delicious summer lunch accompanying good cheese and home made bread.
For vegan beets, make sure the sugar you use is vegan. Some white sugar is processed with bone char.
This recipe was provided by Katherine Gicante from Petersburg.