Friday, June 25, 2010

Pickled pink

One of the new things growing in my garden this year is beets. Chioggia beets, an heirloom variety that show red and white rings when sliced open. Last Wednesday, in the midst of drizzling rain, I went out to the garden and harvested most of the rosy rubies, bringing them inside for hubby and my wonderful big sis (visiting from St. Paul) to help clean and cut.

The stems and leaves were cut from the beets, and saved in a large bowl in case I get an inkling to do another southern meal this weekend. I must needs find a recipe for grits, so we can have fried chicken, greens and grits. Actually, I have no idea what grits are. Not a big demand for them up here in Minnesota. But I know what lutefisk and lefse are!

Bunches of beets boiling briskly on the burner. Beautiful!

After that, peel and dice. Chioggia beets don't have the dark red color that most beets do. But the flavor is very similar. At least, I can't tell the difference.

Because they lack the intense redness, these pickled beets ended up a lovely shade of pink. They look more like pickled peppermint than pickled beets. They are almost too pretty to eat. Almost.


Erin said...

That had me laughing! When I moved down south I couldn't figure out what grits were either! Grits are funny, if they are done right they are sooooo good! But if not made right, they are downright runny and grainy and gross LOL! And don't ask me, I don't know how to make them! Now one of my favorite breakfasts is a true Southern breakfast with biscuits and country sausage gravy, or grits n'eggs! I have never had beets, but those sure are pretty!

Frustrated Farmer Rick said...

Hey Jo,

We are growing chiogas for the first time this year as well. We haven't canned any yet but we have had a few in salads and they are just as tasty as regular beets and not as messy. You guys ever try golden beets?

We love them.

Thistledog said...

Great post, and I loved the title...

We're eating every beet out my little space but I'm looking forward to the day where I can have enough to pickle, too. I hadn't thought about the Chiogga or golden beets being less messy - maybe next year I'll try them.

As always, I love the photos of your little kitchen helper, he is going to have all kinds of skills and talents when he grows up!

Harold Phillips said...

Grits is great! Up here in the Northwest we can get them at our local Fred Meyer... instant grits kinda like Cream of Wheat. You do have to be careful to cook them right... but if they're cooked right they're oh-so-good!

Fiona said...

I've always loved beets but my family turned their noses up at them... until we grew a mix of heirlooms last year that included chioggia -- so good! And you're right, they're so pretty too. Great post.

Jo said...

Thanks all! A friend of mine was shopping at Walmart the other day and saw a package of grits and got them for me. Guess I should give them a try! But now that I've harvested all my beets, I've got no greens to go with them! Maybe I should plant some more beets. It's a vicious cycle!

I've never tried golden beets, but with my beet success this year I might give them a whirl next time.

Karen said...

I had a great time helping you, little sis! Thanks again for such a wonderful visit!