As soon as I picked up my Roots and Shoots Farm CSA produce last Wednesday, I had my mind set on pickled beets. I have never made them before, but we are big fans and my mother used to make them effortlessly through the years. I paid absolutely no attention to that particular job as she performed it time and time again. So I had to hit the books to find a recipe that best emulated the old family favourite. For me I wanted to start with what I knew and then experiment from there. So this effort was all about basic pickled beets.

Pickled beets and marinated cucumbers are so popular on the dining tables in Scandinavia that I knew this is where I needed to head to find the perfect recipe. You may find syltede rødbeder served with Denmark’s native meatball called frikadeller, on an open faced sandwich they call smørrebrød, or just out on the buffet table like we would serve gherkins. They are a refreshing snack and we often just go to them for a quick nibble.

PICKLED BEETS (SYLTEDE RØDBEDER)
Source: Best of Danish Heritage Cookbook and more

15 beets approximately, medium size
1 litre vinegar
750 gr sugar
fresh horseradish (optional)

Scrub beets well but do not cut ends off, as the beets will “bleed” and lose colour. Cook in salted water until tender, 15 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Drain and cover with cold water. Peel, slice and place in jars. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil and pour over beets. If a slice of fresh horseradish is placed in each jar, the contents will last longer. Cover and seal. Store in a cold place.

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