I followed the pickled beets recipe in Food in Jars, which is an excellent source of canning advice, but reduced the sugar content significantly. These are nice with arugula or green lettuce, blue cheese and glazed walnuts and a mustardy vinaigrette like they used to serve at Vicolo’s in San Francisco. Makes 3 pints.
2 lbs red beets (you could also use pink or chioggia beets)
2 c apple cider vinegar
2 c water
2 T kosher or pickling salt
¼ c sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 chunk of ginger, about 2 inches by ¾ inch, peeled and thinly sliced.
Method: Scrub the beets and remove greens and long roots, but don’t trim too much because the outsides will come off in cooking. Bring a big pot of water to the boil and add beets; when it comes back to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and cook until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Plunge into cold water to stop cooking; when cool enough, scrub with your hands to remove skin and any residual roots/stems. Cut into quarters or eighths, depending on the size of the beets.
In a saucepan, bring all other ingredients to a boil and reduce to a simmer; heat 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Add the cleaned beet chunks and turn off the heat. When cooled to lukewarm, transfer to pint jars. If needed, top off with 50% water/50% cider vinegar. Keep in refrigerator for up to 2 months (they’re ready to eat after 5 days). You can also put them up using sterilized jars and your preferred canning method.