Okay, I admit it. I live in Brooklyn, and I pickle things. Bring on the Portlandia jokes. Usually, I do a quick pickle — salt + vinegar + overnight in fridge. This is the first time I have used boiling brine. This recipe would work with many vegetables, such as green beans, red onion, fennel, or cauliflower. You don’t need to cook most vegetables; rather, cover in hot brine, let cool, cover and refrigerate. But do boil more toothsome vegetables such as beets or carrots for about 10 minutes, until they are just crisp-tender. These are not a shelf stable pickle — the jar is not airtight or sterilized. Keep in fridge, and eat within about two weeks. We tend to finish ours in a few days!
Makes 5 or 6 servings, as a side
3 pounds beets (red or golden or mix)
2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
several cloves garlic, peeled and chopped in large chunks
.25 cup fine salt
.25 cup fine white sugar
2T whole black peppercorns
Mix water and vinegar in large non-reactive soup pot. Whisk in salt and sugar, and add garlic and peppercorns. Set to boil.
Scrub and peel beets. Slice in large chunks, and cut using slicing disk on a food processor.
When water hits a rolling boil, add beets. Lower flame and let beets cook about 10 minutes, until just tender, not mushy. Remove pot from heat.
Dump beets and brine into a large glass jar or a glass bowl with a cover. Let cool uncovered. Tightly seal lid and let cool overnight in fridge. Enjoy! They are delicious as a sandwich or salad topping.