January 31, 2010

pickled golden beets


My old  friend Kami has been asking me for a pickled beets recipe for months . Inspired by some golden beets at the farmers market and the mound of tangerines in my kitchen this recipe is a welcome ray of sunshine in the winter. 
The  earthiness of the beets combined with tangerines and the slightly floral pink peppercorns results in a mildly sweet and tangy pickle. I used the David Chang/Momofuku technique reducing the sugar a bit to compensate for the beets sweetness.
Serve these along side rich meats, added to salad or on a sandwich or burger. Chopped finely they make a great addition to a remoulade or tuna salad.
If you have extra brine pour it over another vegetable, such as onion or carrots, whatever you have on hand, and pop it in the fridge to serve with the beets.


  • These are refrigerator pickles and therefore require no hot water bath or cooking. 
  • This is a technique that invites experimentation, try different vegetables and spices using what you have on hand.
  • Pink peppercorns grow on tree's in California and are available at gourmet markets , but can easily be replaced by regular peppercorns or omitted altogether.
  • I used golden beets for this recipe, but any beet will work. 
  • Peel the beets before trimming them, it's easier with with the greens attached .
  • Golden beets are orange on the outside and yellow on the inside.

  • 3 bunches beets (about 9 medium beets) peeled and trimmed
  • zest of 1 orange or two tangerines
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups rice vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  1.  Peel beets, then cut into very thin slices (less than 1/8 inch) with slicer and transfer to a nonreactive heatproof bowl with zest and peppercorns.
  2. Meanwhile, bring water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. 
  3. Remove from heat and pour hot brine over beets.
  4. Cool to room temperature, stirring and pressing vegetables down occasionally (or keep them submerged with a small plate). 
  5. Transfer beets with pickling liquid to a separate airtight container and chill, covered, shaking occasionally, for at least 1 week. Serve using a slotted spoon. 


  1. Hi Nina: Just want to say I love your blog. You have a great voice, and your canning recipes always inspire! Thanks! A fan in rural Virginia, Jessie K