Vivian Howard's Pickled Beets

Daniel Hautzinger
Beets. Photo: Nick Collins on Unsplash

After five seasons, Vivian Howard's popular cooking show A Chef's Life aired its hourlong finale on Monday (which is available to stream). To celebrate the end of the North Carolina-based, seasonally focused show, try a simple recipe from Howard perfect for this time of year, when fall weather makes you crave root vegetables: pickled beets.

Pickled Beets


3 lbs beets
3 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 cloves
3 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp chili flakes
3 star anise


1. Place washed, skin-on beets in the bottom of 6-quart or larger pot. Cover the beets with water by 2 inches, and bring them up to a boil. Boil, covered, for 20 minutes. Check to see if they are done by sliding a knife into the center. The beet should give just a little resistance. If the they are not done, continue cooking just until they are. Drain off the water and set the beets aside to cool.

2. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel and slice the beets into 1/2 inch rounds. Position the rounds in wide-mouth canning jars. If you have rounds that are too wide to fit, cut them into half-moons, or quarters, or whatever you have to do to get them in there.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive, 3-quart saucepan and bring it up to a boil. Carefully pour the brine over the beets, making sure they are completely submerged in the liquid. Seal the jars. At this point you could refrigerate the beets for up to 3 months without processing in a hot water bath.

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