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Southern Pickled Beets with Orange

Nourish yourself with this sweet, tangy harvest time dish
ClassesMary Carr’s classic Southern recipe
Here's how

Recipe by Mary Carr

Looking for simple, nutritious recipe ideas for your home-grown beets? Try Mary Carr’s original North Carolina recipe, which stacks the earthy flavor of beets with the brightness of citrus.

This delicious dish can be served right away or stored in the fridge, submerged in vinegar, for up to two weeks. Beets have a powerful nutritional profile, and pickled beets make an excellent snack, side dish or condiment.


4 medium beets

1 orange

2 tbsp olive oil, more if you prefer

1 ½  tbsp Kosher salt

3/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar

2 tsp of organic cane sugar or honey


1. Scrub the beets to clean off any excess dirt, but don’t remove the skin.

2. Place beets in a roasting dish with an inch of water. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the roasting pan with the water and beets. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the beets and sprinkle kosher salt on top of each beet.

3. Seal the roasting pan with a lid or aluminum foil, and roast the beets at 425°F for 45 minutes, or until a knife can pierce the center of the beet.

4. Once beets have roasted and cooled enough to handle, use an old dish cloth and peel the skin away. (It should wipe off easily once cooked.) Trim the rough bits from the top and the bottom of the beets.

5. Strain the roasting liquid. Optional: Save the liquid and make it into a quick salad dressing with olive oil and Dijon mustard.

6. Slice beets evenly, about a quarter inch thick, and place into a glass container.

7. In a pan bring white balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup water, sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil until the sugar and salt dissolve.

8. Pour vinegar mixture over beets.

9. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two weeks submerged in vinegar.


You may need more vinegar to cover your beets. If so, just add more sweetener and salt to taste.

If you prefer other vinegars or want to use what you have on hand, go for it. White balsamic is lovely and mild; adjust the sweetener and salt to taste. Also feel free to mix and match. Red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar are a delicious combo too.

Serve with cheese (cottage cheese is Mary’s favorite!), in salads, on toast, or simply as a snack.


Yields 4 full servings or 8 sides.


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