January 15th, 2009


Star Anise and Cinnamon Pickled Beetroot

Growing vegetables has been a new and humble experience for me.It has given me a new found respect for the food we eat. I had a good harvest last summer and we managed to get two crops of beetroot, which I was incredibly pleased with. I now realise how long it takes to grow vegetables organically. I will think twice before throwing food in the bin in the future as it’s so easy to buy and then throw cheap food if  it’s not used. It made me think of all sorts of ways to preserve my homegrown vegetables.I am all excited as I have already planned what I am going to plant this year.

We have already pre-ordered our organic  vegetable plants from rocket gardens for this summer and we have already planned where will plant the various vegetables. We have ensured that we will have beetroots again this year. We grew them last year from seed and have specifically chosen the small varieties.  Elly our bunny liked them as well, we found her more than once standing on her hind legs nibbling on the leaves!

This star anise and cinnamon pickled beetroots was a hit for us. We love the way the flavour of the star anise complements the earthiness of the beetroots and is rounded off with a perfect cinnamon aroma. Beetroots are Ross’s favourite vegetable and we regularly have them with our dinner. Enjoy the pickled beets cold or warm, in salads, risottos, or with roasted leg of lamb its a treat!

  • beetroot_our_garden500g raw whole beetroot
  • salt
  • tap water

This recipe is best approached in two stages.

Remove the leaves,and wash the beets in cold water.

Place the washed beets in a large saucepan with cold water and a tablespoon of salt. Bring the beets to the boil and cook until tender. Insert a small sharp knife, if the knife slides in easy and comes out easy then they are cooked, drain the beets.

Let them cool slightly and then scrape the skins with a sharp small knife, the skins will come off very easily.Be careful as they will stain anything remotely white.  I usually wear a pair of gloves and peel them in the sink.

If the beets are big cut them into smaller wedges or if they are small you can keep them whole, set the beets aside.

Sterilize glass jam jars in the oven while making the pickling liquid.

Pickling Liquid
  • 180g unrefined caster sugar
  • 180g malt vinegar
  • 50g balsamic vinegar
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 30g extra virgin olive oil + extra to top the jars up
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1tsp Sea Salt

Weigh all the ingredients in to a small saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer the liquid for 5 minutes.

Add the cooked beetroots and bring the liquid back to the boil, cook for one minute.

Cool the beets slightly before spooning them in to the sterilised jars. Pour the remaining liquid over the beets to cover them completely with the hot liquid.Add extra extra virgin oilve oil on top ,about 1cm, to keep the oxygen out completely. The pickling liquid  with the olive oil makes a delicious vinaigrette.

Seal the jars tightly and let them cool completely before refrigerating.

You can eat the beetroots immediately but I highly recommend letting them mature for a minimum of a week before using them.

You can keep the beetroot for up to one month in the fridge providing that you have sterilised the jars correctly.

Food Fanatics Tips

The pickled beetroot is delicious in cold salads, makes glorious plated starters-Beetroot, Feta and Watercress Salad or warm with roasted leg of lamb. Cold Pickled Beetroots goes very well with smoked trout and creamed horseradish.

Sterilizing the jars: This is one of the most crucial tasks that you should never cut corners. If this is not done well you might find that your handy work becomes mouldy and ferments sooner than expected. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Wash the  jars in hot soapy water; do not dry them with a tea towel. Place the damp jars and lids on a clean baking tray; try not to touch the jars and lids on the insides. Place them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Let the jars cool slightly before filling them, never pour cold liquid in to hot glass jars, you will end up with broken glass.

Print Recipe Print Recipe with Photo

4 Comments to “Star Anise and Cinnamon Pickled Beetroot”

  1. alison says:

    this is on my ‘to do’ list for today, have an abundance of beetroot in our vegetable plot! will let you know the results, I’ve also tried roasting beetroot and the flavor is much more concentrated but my fav method is steaming. Here in france we rarely come across pickled beetroot, it is mostly cubed and mixed with some garlic, parsley, a little olive oil, maybe a splash of balsamic, salt and pepper – very nice!
    Recently discovered your site and LOVE it, thank you for all the excellent recipes and the wonderfully entertaining text that accompany them! really enjoyable=)

  2. JG Brooking says:

    I think you should roast the beetroot and not boil them, this will produce a much more rounded flavour, but your pickling vinegar is yummy. Have used a similar mix and added chilli for pickling red onions. I love this time of the year – apricot jam & chutney, beetroot and horseradish pickle and endless chopping, blanching and bagging string beans for the freezer. Great site.

  3. This recipe is just what I was looking for – and very informative – thanks very much.
    Kind regards,
    Shirley I.

  4. Y says:

    I’ve been thinking about pickling my own beetroot for some time now – just never got round to looking for a recipe. Guess I have no excuse now.

Leave a Comment