You can still find local beets around, thanks to their late harvest and long shelf life. Pickling these earthy, vibrant vegetables will help them last all winter long.
3-1/2 lb (1.6 kg) small red beets
2-1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tsp sea salt
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
3 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
2 coriander seeds
3 tsp fennel seeds
Boil water and cook beets for 30 minutes or until tender. When tender remove from water and drain, rinsing with cool water. Slide off beet skins and quarter or halve peeled beets.
In large saucepan, boil water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the solids have dissolved completely.
In your largest pot, boil water to sanitize jars and lids. When boiling, use tongs to place jars and lids in water and boil for 5 minutes. Remove with tongs and place on a towel to dry until cool.
Mix herbs into the boiling liquid and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fill four mason jars with beets and ladle liquid evenly into the jars, leaving an inch of space.
Cover with prepared lids and screw on tightly. When lids are secure, turn upside down and let rest until a seal is created.