Egyptian Pickled Beets 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Canning Aug 10, 2011

These are piquant yet earthy, thanks to the addition of cumin seed.

Make Ahead: The beets need to be refrigerated for 3 to 4 hours before they are eaten. They can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Servings: 4 cups
  • 2 small or 1 large bunch beets (1 1/2 pounds), stems and root ends trimmed off
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar, distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


Peel the beets. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices or large dice.

Combine the water and beets in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, adjusting the heat as needed, until the beets are just al dente (barely tender). Stir in the vinegar, salt and sugar (to taste); increase the heat if needed, and bring to a boil so the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, toast the cumin seed in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant. Cool slightly, then crush the seeds using a mortar and pestle.

Put the beets and enough liquid to cover them into containers with tight-fitting lids. Add the minced garlic, cumin seed and oil, leaving at least 1/2 inch of head space at the top. Seal, and shake to mix the flavors. Let sit at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours before serving, or refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Rate it

Recipe Source

Adapted from Grace Lichaa of New Morning Farm in Hustontown, Pa.

Tested by Emily Horton.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at