The fresh rosemary I used in pickled beets (which I canned) gave them a deep, unpleasant musty taste. Was that a fluke? Did I do something wrong? ;o)

And is there any antidote? I've thoroughly rinsed the brine off, but the taste remains pervasive. The rosemary was fresh -- just picked from a large, mature bush outside my kitchen -- and is the same that I use regularly for my everyday cooking. Thank you, everyone. ;o)



Susan W. August 19, 2014
AJ, I actually googled the beets with his name and his 2009 recipe popped up. He talked about star anise, but only with red beets. Here's my question to you. I really am on a "no more kitchen stuff" (my kitchen is so fully stocked with everything I need and high quality stuff), so, I don't have canning pot or rack. Can I do this and skip the water bath, but keep them in the fridge? I have two pint sized fido jars that I can use.
AntoniaJames August 19, 2014
Yes, they'll last for months in the fridge, I would guess . . . if you somehow could hold off on eating them for that long. Also, you can can in an ordinary stock pot if you put a thick dishcloth on the bottom of it to keep the jars from rattling around. You just need to cover the jars with about an inch of water; Ball (or maybe it's Kerr) makes shorter pint jars, if that's an issue. They're wider, of course, but you could do two batches, if necessary. Or you could use wide-mouth 8 ounce jars. ;o)
Susan W. August 19, 2014
I do have a stockpot that may work with the towel method, but I think this time, I'll do the refrigerator method since I have the cute flip top jars already. They are squaty and adorable. :)
AntoniaJames August 18, 2014
Thank you, Susan. I think you're right, though it seems like more than one of the beets were a bit off. I made a double batch and a few slices bad slices made it into each jar. I ended up testing a sliver from every slice, and then cutting the good ones into smaller pieces to use in salads.

Even then, they were not particularly to my liking. The rosemary gave every one of them a strong, resinous taste. Ah, we live and learn, don't we.

Now, the golden beets with ginger made using white wine vinegar? Those were marvelous. Cheers. ;o)
Susan W. August 18, 2014
Golden beets with ginger sounds a gazillion times better to me. Yum!! Rosemary has its place in my kitchen (lamb, potatoes), but I find I crave it less and less.
AntoniaJames August 18, 2014
Susan, I use the recipe from Kevin West's "Saving the Season." He uses cider vinegar, but I've become completely converted to wine vinegar, for all pickles and other preserves, by Paul Virant, who uses it almost exclusively, even for kosher dills. His "Preservation Kitchen" is just wonderful. ;o)
aargersi August 19, 2014
I am also stealing your golden beet and ginger pickle idea! I love PVs corn chow-chow, every time I open the book to try something new I end up making it! I am now determined to try something NEW this weekend.
Susan W. August 19, 2014
AJ, I am not a pickler or canner. Mostly because I simply prefer vegetables in their natural form. Also, I live in an apt with a kitchen the size of a postage stamp and zero counter space. I do love my kombucha, preserved lemons and sauerkraut. I think I may have to try a small batch of golden beets. Would rice wine vinegar work?
AntoniaJames August 19, 2014
Susan, as long as the vinegar has at least 5% acidity, you should be fine. I don't know how mild or sharp your rice vinegar tastes, so I don't know how that would figure into it. I find that wine vinegar - especially red wine vinegar -- has less of an edge than cider vinegar, which is why I've started using it more. I feel quite fortunate to be able to buy excellent red and white wine vinegars in 4 liter jugs, for practically nothing, from the winemaking supply store nearby. ;o)
AntoniaJames August 19, 2014
Abbie and Susan, the ratios are: 6 pounds golden beets, 3 cups apple cider, white wine or champagne vinegar, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup each light brown and white sugars, 2-inch thumb of ginger root, peeled and sliced, 6 cloves, 6 allspice berries, 3" cinnamon stick, 2 lightly crushed cardamom pods, 2 tsp kosher salt. Tie up the spices in a cheesecloth bag; don't put them in the jars. Makes 4 pints. They are so beautiful! And unlike red beets, they don't stain your salad a deep magenta. ;o)
Susan W. August 19, 2014
AJ, Thank you for the ratios and ingredients. I am definitely going to make these. My rwv is 4.3% (I think that's why I like it) so I will get a bottle of wwv or maybe champagne vinegar. Can't wait to try this. Off to google the method. :)
Susan W. July 30, 2014
AJ, are you positive it isn't the beets tasting musty? I love beets, but once in a while, I get one that tastes musty/moldy.
AntoniaJames August 19, 2014
Susan, Kevin West included an early version of the recipe in his blog back in 2009. The method is probably the same. He called for star anise in the early version (which I'd never use, given how it overwhelms the other spices); I was glad to see that he'd dropped it in the version published in the book. The flavor of these is somewhat delicate - a nice change from the typical aggressive nature of most pickled beets (e.g., Amanda's recipe here on Food52 made with distilled white vinegar). ;o)
Recommended by Food52