Sour Beets

Recipe: Sour Beets

Summary: I was at the farmers’ market here in San Diego yesterday, and noticed the beets have gotten smaller. Soon they’ll be gone altogether for the summer and fall. This recipe offers a fine way to keep eating your beets well throughout the summer months.


  • 3 lbs Beets
  • 2.5 tablespoons sea salt or pickling salt
  • 1-2 each carrots
  • 1-2 each peppers (as hot as you like)
  • 2 teaspoons Carraway seeds


  • V-slicer or mandoline such as the Benriner mandoline slicer (one of a fermenter’s best friends!)
  • Glass or food-grade plastic jar, 1/2 to 1 gallon
  • Kitchen tongs


  1. Remove greens from beets, leaving about an inch of stalk. (Use in another recipe or compost!)
  2. Scrub beets well (they live in the ground after all).
  3. Shred, grate or julienne the beets using a v-slicer, mandoline, box grater, or knife to the desired thickness. I used the ‘medium’ attachment on my Benriner, to get 1/4″ slices. Use your finger guard or a kevlar-glove to protect your fingers! (they don’t add anything to the recipe and are much more useful attached to your hands.)
  4. Slice carrots and peppers.
  5. Add about 1/4 of the beets to the container, 1/4 of the salt, some spices, and layer the other vegetables. Repeat until all the ingredients are added.
  6. Add a cover and a weight to weigh the contents down.
  7. After about a day, the beets will create their own gorgeous colored brine


  1. These fermented for three weeks.
  2. You may have to add brine if the liquid evaporates. To make brine, add 3 tablespoons sea salt to 1 quart of filtered or spring water. Add to ferment to ensure there is enough liquid to cover the contents.
  3. Check for surface mold and clean as best you can.
  4. When they taste right to you, cover and refrigerate, or divide and share with the rest of your fermenters club culture!

Number of servings (yield): 4

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2 thoughts on “Sour Beets

    • Austin Post author

      Tablespoons! Thanks for catching that! I also added some details on creating your own brine (if necessary).

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