27 Oct 2019

Seasonal recipe - Swedish Pickled Beetroot

freshly harvested home grown beetroot held above a raised bed of parsley
~ the first beetroot I grew ~ 

So there I was, glancing through the titles on the bookshelves of the new family I was babysitting for when I spotted an intriguing title. 'Swedish Bakes'.  Who doesn't love a cinnamon bun? I prised it off the shelf and settled down for a good read.

There were many very, very tempting recipes to be found but the one that really spoke to me (not literally, that would be too weird) was not a bake but a pickle.  For beetroot.

How far have I come since those early days of loathing beetroot!  And how fortunate that having grown a patch of shared community beetroot, nobody liked it but I was prepared to give it go.  On that occasion my tastebuds were swayed by a moist beetroot chocolate cake. (I really should give that another go.)

But back to the pickle.  Beetroot is now a favourite root, roasted, in stews, in cake, as a soup, raw in juices (awesome!) and now, pickled.  Although one or two peeled chunks might have found their way into my mouth rather than the pickling jar.  Here's the recipe.

Swedish Pickled Beetroot, fills a 1 litre jar

500g raw beetroot
400ml Cider Vinegar
300g caster sugar (superfine sugar in the US)
1 cinnamon stick
2 fresh bay leaves
6 cloves
4 Cardamon pods (split and seeds used)
1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
A handful of Juniper berries (optional)

Boil the beets (skin on, leaves twisted off) in salted water until tender, approx 40 minutes. Drain and cool, then rinse and rub the skin off.

Meanwhile make the brine. Add the remaining ingredients to a saucepan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Sterilise your jar (or jars) by washing in hot soapy water, rinse and put upside down on an oven shelf at 100°C for 10-15 minutes. Put lids or rubber seals into boiling water for 10 minutes to sterilise. Allow to cool.

Cut cooked skinned beets into wedges (or slices), put into the sterilised jar, pour the brine over, seal and place in a dark cupboard at room temperature for two to three weeks before eating.


  1. I still have three beetroots in the raised bed, I should your try your recipe. thank you for sharing

    1. I hope you enjoy the beetroot if you try the recipe, Endah. The liquid gives the roots a sweetness and more flavour - I think they're delicious!

  2. Sounds good except for the brine. We don’t like salty food. Is the brine really necessary?

    1. The only salt is in the cooking water, just a pinch to bring out the flavour as you would when boiling other vegetables. I used the word 'brine' as that's what was used in the recipe to describe the pickling liquid, ie, vinegar, sugar, spices, which of course is needed to infuse the roots with flavour. Hope that helps to clarify!


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