Over on the homemade tastes better on handmade blog, I've just started a Guest Series where I've invited some local chefs, food professionals, and avid home cooks to join me at a local Tailgate Market and then cook up a dish inspired by the seasonal offerings. My first guest was Matt Clark, co-owner of Bittersweet Cottage & Suite in Asheville, NC. Bittersweet is one of those hidden gems of our area - beautiful, private, romantic, stunning views, and just minutes from downtown. You can see our Market visit and Matt's recipes for our Spring Brunch at the blog, just click HERE.
In addition to what Matt created from our Market finds, he offered some of his own homemade pickled beets & onions to the menu. I paired them with some fresh sunflower sprouts from the Co-op, and with nothing more than a drizzle of the pickling juice, we had the perfect side salad. So good, that I had to ask him to share that recipe as well, which he graciously does here.
Matt gave a disclaimer that his recipe came from Alton Brown, and the original recipe may be found HERE. However, what you have in the kitchen/pantry, along with personal taste, habit, and time management can often cause minor and even major adjustments to an original recipe. I'm glad I'm not the only one that reads them avidly and uses them as great suggestions when it comes down to the cooking!
Here is Matt's version of Alton Brown's recipe. It was the perfect compliment to our meal, and the combination of the fresh sprouts, the earthy beets, the sweet onions, and the perfect tang of the pickling juice absolutely tasted like Spring.
Matt's Version of Alton's Pickled Beets
(makes 7-8 pints)
Roasted Beets, recipe follows
2 yellow onions, frenched
2 cup cider vinegar
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 big pinch ground cloves
2 cup water
Remove the skin from the Roasted Beets and slice thinly (see Matt's suggestion below). Arrange in sterilized, wide-mouth pint jars alternating layers with the onion. In a small pot boil the rest of the ingredients and pour over the beets, making sure to leave 1/2" 'head room' in each jar. Tightly lid the jars and place in the refrigerator for 3 to 7 days before serving.
*If you water process the jars (you'll have to look that up or reference your favorite canning resource for details), the beets will keep for up to a year, although they won't last that long because they're that good.
12 medium beets, cleaned with 1-inch stem remaining
2 sprigs thyme
2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
I roast beets by making little foil packages for each one – snip the root end, leave a little stem so you can hold it while you are slicing - rub beets with olive oil – add some salt and pepper and a little dried thyme to each package – wrap them up tight - roast on a sheet or glass pan or whatever, doesn’t matter at 400 for about an hour depending on the size of your beets. I like them a little “under”as opposed to mushy. Paring knife should go in smoothly.
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Here's where you'll find all the recipes featured on the website. Some are presented in traditional format, others are more 'assemblage' recipes, combining ingredients that can be prepared a number of ways, and sometimes I'll present some ways. You're welcome to comment and offer your own versions!