One of the easiest condiments you can make is beetroot relish. It takes about 5 minutes of active time in the kitchen, and all you need after that is a little bit of patience to let the fermentation process take place. The result is a brilliant red relish, sweetened by a touch of apple, spiked by horseradish, and touched by allspice and cloves.
What is beetroot relish?
Beetroot relish is a condiment made by combining shredded beets with other fruits, vegetables, and spices. Traditionally, the relish is pickled with vinegar; however, this recipe calls for fermentation.
Like beetroot relish made with vinegar, fermentation gives the beets a pleasantly tart flavor. Only, that sour flavor comes from the lactic acid naturally released during the fermentation process rather than the acetic acid found in vinegar. As a result, the relish is rich in beneficial bacteria just like kimchi, sauerkraut, and sour pickles.
Tips for making the relish
Like most fermented vegetables, beetroot relish is simple to make. If you can shred vegetables and pack them into a jar, you can make this recipe. But when it comes to fermenting high-sugar vegetables like beets and other root vegetables, you'll want to keep a few tips in mind.
- Use a food processor. Horseradish contains compounds that can irritate your airways, so using a food processor and let it rest about 20 minutes before opening it will dampen the release of those compounds into the air.
- Salt the vegetables and let them rest. Letting vegetables rest after you salt them allows the salt to penetrate cell walls, producing brine which is essential for safe fermentation.
- Pack the jar tightly, so that no air bubbles remain and the brine completely covers the vegetables. This keeps your ferments safe and much less likely to develop mold.
- Use weights and a fermentation seal. Glass weights keep your vegetables safely submerged in brine, while fermentation seals help limit airflow, which prevents mold development.
- The juice may become thick and viscous. High-sugar vegetables like beets can produce a thick and viscous brine the longer they ferment. It's normal.
Beetroot Relish Recipe
Preparing the relish.
- Shred the beets, apple, and horseradish root coarsely in a food processor. Let it rest about 20 minutes before opening the lid.
Salting the beets and apples.
- Transfer the contents of the food processor to a large bowl, and then stir in the salt, allspice, and cloves. Let the relish rest about 10 minutes or until the beets and apples begin to release their liquid.
Fermenting the beets.
- Transfer the relish to a quart-sized jar. As you spoon the vegetables into the jar, firmly pack them down with a wooden spoon so that they release their liquid and no air bubbles remain. Place a glass weight over the vegetables, ensuring that the brine fully submerges the vegetables and weight.
- Seal the jar, and allow the vegetables to ferment at room temperature away from direct light and heat at least 14 days and up to 6 weeks. Transfer to the fridge and enjoy within 1 year.