pickled beets with rosemary and meyer lemon


My grandmother taught me how to can way before it was hip. She did it because she preferred the way home-canned apricots and peaches, relish and jam, and pickles tasted. It was hard, hot work, but it was always worth it. I lived for eight years in Walla Walla, an agricultural community in southeastern Washington. Because of the abundance of produce and the lifestyle I was enjoying, I canned. I canned a lot. Most of my college friends and neighbors found it pretty weird. But, I loved it.

When we packed up and moved from Walla Walla to San Francisco I sold my canning supplies. I was sad at the time, but I also didn’t really see how I might keep that practice alive in a tiny apartment in a big city. Finally, I have found the answer: refrigerator pickles!

Refrigerator pickles allow you to make small batches that do not need to be processed in a water bath. I experimented this weekend with my first batches. This recipe has you boil the beets first and then marinate them in the brine to add flavor.

Pickled Beets with Rosemary and Meyer Lemon


  • 6 cups beets, boiled until soft, then peeled
  • 6 cups cider vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Sprigs of rosemary
  • Meyer lemon, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 Wide-mouthed pint jars


  1. Prepare beets.
  2. Heat vinegar, water, salt and sugar in saucepan until boiling.
  3. Wash jars and lids and sterilize with boiling water.
  4. Fill jars with one sprig of rosemary, two slices of lemon and one slice of onion.
  5. Slice beets 1/2 inch thick. Fill jars with beets.
  6. Fill jars with brine and seal with lids.
  7. Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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