Betabeles en Escabeche

Beets are a food that conjures up strong emotions for some people. I happen to be a person that enjoys their earthy flavor.

Growing up, we occasionally had beets at home. My mom would buy the canned version and slice them up for us to eat on the side. After all, beets were good for us. And surprisingly, I liked them that way.

But fresh beets are so much better. I came across this recipe in Marilyn Tausend’s cookbook, La Cocina Mexicana: Many Cultures, One Cuisine.

What I like the most about this recipe is that the flavors are as bright as the colors in this version of pickled beets.

Betabeles en Escabeche 2

Betabeles en Escabeche

4 – 6 red beets, with some stem attached and well-scrubbed

1 small or medium red onion, thinly sliced

¾ cup mild white vinegar

¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

¼ cup Spanish dry (fino) sherry

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

½ teaspoon black peppercorns

½ teaspoon whole allspice

¾ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

¼ teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Strips of orange peel, without the white pith

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beets in Baking Dish

Put the beets in a small baking dish and add ¼ cup water and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for an hour or until the beets are soft when squeezed (15-20 minutes more depending on the size of the beets).

Peeled Beets

When they are done, remove the beets from the oven and place them in an ice-bath and let them cool until they are ready to be handled. Peel the skins off the beets and cut the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds.

Sliced Beets

Place the slices in a glass bowl.

Betabeles and Spices

Add the slices of red onion, preferably using rings that are no larger than the diameter of the beets, along with the vinegar, orange juice, sherry, and lime juice. Rub the Mexican oregano between your palms and add it to the beets along with the rest of the ingredients.

Betabeles en Escabeche

Toss gently and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Stir regularly. When ready to serve, drain the slices you are using and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

9 replies »

  1. I’m also in the beet lover camp. Can’t wait to try this version when the beets in my CSA come rolling in. I’ve never added water to the roasting process but will give it a try to my compare to my method of wrapping the beets in foil and dry roasting

  2. I don’t know if I like beets much or not. I do like beet greens and chard so maybe. I’ve got several rows in my garden dedicated to all sorts of beets this. Hope to try out your recipe.

    • If you do try the recipe, please let me know what you think. And having fresh beets, grown on your own farm must taste amazing.

      And I wanted to say that I really enjoy following your blog. I was just talking to someone this morning about the Anemone sylvatica photo you posted. Very beautiful.

      • Thank you so much!

        I’ll let know how the recipe works. I’ve grown Mexican oregano before and I’m going to order seeds tonight just for the beet recipe.

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