Friday, June 22, 2012

Can't be beet (salad)

For most of my life, I haven't been much of a beet-eater.  When we started getting beets a few years ago in our CSA boxes, I really had no idea what to do with them.  My husband's borscht was delicious -- but only to him; the kids and I wouldn't touch it.

Two years ago, I chanced upon this salad (almost like a slaw, really) at a neighbor's pot luck, and my relationship with beets changed overnight.

Tangy Beet Slaw
  • a bunch of beets, peeled and grated.
  • an equal amount of carrots, peeled and grated. (Celery works, too).
  • an equal amount of apples, peeled and grated.
  • oil and vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic
  • hot sauce
Our CSA and my adventures in canning have both really changed the way I eat.  So by the time, earlier this week, a good friend called to tell me she had bags and bags of vegetables for us, I was ready.   There were two jars of home-canned peas.  There was cabbage.  There was squash.  And there was a giant bag of beets.

Did I say I was ready?  Maybe.  The Tangy Beet Slaw doesn't really can well (at least, I presume not), so I tried pickling the beets -- 13 jars worth.   

One of the trickiest parts of canning for me is the recipe aspect, not the canning aspect.  There was the year I made a large vat of salsa, and in order to bump the acidity up, added more lemon juice than I really should have.  If I were cooking a plain old dinner, that would be a one-night mistake.  But as it was, I spent the rest of they year using up the lemon-y salsa in carefully controlled ways.  It would have been nicer just to have really yummy salsa.

At any rate, I now have 13 jars of pickled beets that I haven't tasted yet.  I followed the recipe and directions at this web site called "Pick Your Own", which I use for almost all my canning advice.  Except four of those jars have hot peppers in the mix -- those'll be for me, not for my husband. I'm crossing my fingers on the taste on any of those jars, really.

And I'm still trying to decide whether to freeze, pickle, or who-knows-what for those squash.  Suggestions are welcome!


  1. Beets are delicious (to me) steamed or roasted. To steam wash them throughly, cut off the root and stem ends, place in a pan with a tight fitting lid and water about to cover about a third of the beet, bring to a boil then simmer until easily pierced with a fork. Serve with butter and salt and enjoy. Roast veggies are made by cutting potatoes, carrots, onion, beets, sweet potatoes, or yams, (whatever you have on hand) into bite sized pieces, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a sprinkling of italian seasoning, then drizzle olive oil over it all, stir to coat the veggies, transfer to a roasting pan and roast them (I do it in the oven) at 400 degrees for an hour or until tender. Delicious!

    1. Mmmmm, sounds good. Because we have no air conditioning, I think I'd try grilling rather than roasting -- keep the heat outdoors. But I'm a huge fan of marinades, so I will be sure to try this idea out! -MM