I had to sacrifice part of a great bottle of wine to make these beets. It was necessary, though, as I knew exactly what type of rosé I needed for this, and a very clear picture of what that wine was.
When I first saw this recipe in Cooking Light I needed to make it. I love beets, love rosé, love raspberries and thyme and pepper and vinegar. I love nearly anything pickled. What’s not to love? I also love pink, and the picture in the magazine was so gorgeous and wildly pink, it had to be a winner.
And so, one Sunday morning, I got up, scrubbed my beets and tossed them into the oven. Cooled, prepped brine and into the jar they went. These are a quick pickle, a ‘fridge pickle’. Not sure if they could be water bathed and stabilized for long term storage, but they won’t last that long in my house. I’ll slide them in sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese, or chop them and toss into salads, maybe just eat them out of the jar, bathed in the light of the fridge, before going to bed. They’re that tasty. They would make a gorgeous hostess gift for the beet lover, and their brightness on a charcuterie or cheese board would be most welcome.
Use a nice, off-dry rosé, not too sweet. Please, don’t confuse it with a white zinfandel, if you’re not a wine drinker or are unsure ask someone in the wine aisle at your grocer, whether or not the person works there (people shopping the wine aisle are always happy to give a recommendation if you need one, trust me!). Absent a person in the wine aisle, pick up a couple of bottles and turn them around: the back label on a lot of wines will give you a description of the wine. You’re looking for one with some fruit in its tasting description, and make sure it sounds like something you’d want to drink. If you wouldn’t drink it, you probably don’t want to cook with it.
I didn’t have any fresh thyme and it would have been so pretty in the jar, but living where I live I’m not driving to the store for a package of herbs. Dried did just fine here too, I subbed in about a quarter teaspoon of dried thyme for the 4 sprigs it called for.
If you love beets and raspberries and rosé, make these little gems. You won’t be disappointed.
Rosé and Raspberry Pickled Beets
Gently adapted From Cooking Light
Serves 8, makes a nice quart sized jar but you can also make it in pints
1 lb. chioggia or red beets (try to find the chioggia!)
1 T. whole black peppercorns
4 thyme sprigs (or 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme)
1 1/2 c. fresh raspberries (I used a 6 oz package and found it was plenty)
1 1/2 c. dry rosé wine
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
2 t. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425*F
Leave root and 1″ stem on beets; scrub and pat dry. Place beets in a glass or ceramic baking dish, add water to a depth of 2″. Cover with foil and bake at 425*F for 50 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cool. Peel beets, cut into 1″ wedges (I cut mine a bit smaller). Place beets in a large heatproof glass jar or bowl with peppercorns and thyme.
Combine raspberries and remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer; cook 4 minutes stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and raspberries begin to break down. Strain raspberry mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Pour hot raspberry mixture over beet mixture, cover and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.