Deliciously preserved: pickled beetroot

Almost all vegetables can be pickled with a spiced vinegar brine, and the sugar and salt contents can be adapted according to how naturally sweet the produce is. You can peel, slice, dice, cut, disc, baton or grate your vegetables as you wish.

Laura Edwards

Makes a 750ml jar

450ml white wine vinegar
100ml filtered water
50g white sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
8 cloves, gently toasted
3 green cardamom pods, gently smashed
450g-500g beetroot, peeled, thinly sliced or diced (and blanched in boiling water) or grated
2-3 pared strips of lemon zest

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices in a large non-reactive pan, keeping the lemon zest to one side. Place over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve and the spices infuse. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then allow the brine to cool slightly.
  2. Pack the beetroot, along with the lemon zest, into appropriately sized, clean or sterilised, cool jars (see here). Try to fit in as much as possible without squashing or forcing too tightly, leaving a gap of about 1cm from the top rim.
  3. Pour the brine over the veg. Gently tap out any trapped bubbles, or use a chopstick to manoeuvre the bubbles out, making sure you get out as many as you can (this trapped air can encourage fermentation). Top up with brine again so the produce is entirely covered, up to 2mm-3mm from the very top, and seal with a sterilised dry lid.
  4. Stored unopened in a cool, dark place for about 3-4 weeks before opening. Once opened, store in the fridge for 6-18 months.

Now buy the book

The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen
Our recipes are from The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen by Kylee Newton, which will be published on 30 September by Quadrille, price £22. To preorder a copy for £18.70 until 3 October, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.