A two summers ago, I went through a major beet phase. I bought them constantly, and always had a jar of simply cooked beets marinating in a basic vinaigrette in the fridge. I used them to top salads and would toss them with pasta and shaved parmesan cheese for a quick dinner. Often, when there wasn’t much else around, I’d just eat them straight out of the jar.
When the season came around last summer, I wasn’t quite as hot for beets. I don’t know if I overdid it the year before or if I was just more enamored of other vegetables (I did go awfully crazy for string beans and artichokes). A number of beets did come my way through a CSA share Scott and I split with a friend and while I tried valiantly, I was never quite able to keep up with the flood. So sometime last November, I popped several beets into a gallon-sized storage bag and tucked them into the rear of the produce drawer, planning to get to them another day.
Well, that other day turned into last night. Recently, I’ve been focusing my mealtime energy into using what I have as opposed to buying ingredients on my walk home from work. Digging through the produce drawer, I came upon the beets. They were still firm, so I boiled a small pot of water and dropped them in. I know that lots of people prefer roasting beets, but when it comes to this preparation, I find that simmering them until they are fork tender is the most convenient, and I don’t notice any loss of flavor. Additionally, I like that they become so easy to peel when cooked like. All you have to do is let them cool to the point where you’re able to handle them and then briskly rub them until the skins loosen. A quick rinse and they are good to go.
While this isn’t a canning recipe exactly, beets that are prepped like this will last for about a week in the fridge (that is, if they last that long). And a nice, big canning jar is the perfect storage container.