Friday, 15 August 2014

Beet Stalk Relish & Kimchi

I have a beautiful red relish!

I had all these beet stalks from my beets and it seemed a shame to throw them away.  They look so nice & red (although they look purple in the picture for some reason).  I scoured my cookbooks and found a recipe for Swiss Chard Relish.  Well, Swiss Chard is a leafy, stalky vegetable, and so are beet greens.  I thought it was worth a shot in subbing the beet stalks for the Swiss Chard.  And, it was!

I started with dicing the beet stalks, salting them, and then letting them sit for 2 hours to draw out the excess moisture.

The onions were added and another 30 minutes of sitting before it was ready for the stove.  Look at the pink tinge on the onions.  That's from cutting on the same board as the beet stalks.  LOL

Once the sweating of the onions and beet stalks were done, they were drained and added to the pot with the vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and mustard seed.

Here is the relish bubbling nicely along after 30 minutes.

Now, you might be thinking that it looks a bit wet for a relish.  Not to worry.  A sauce of cornstarch (I used Clearjel -- a canning-stable cornstarch), mustard powder, curry powder, and turmeric gets added to thicken it right up and give it a beautiful jewel-like finish.

Into jars, and then into the boiling water bath.  I'm at elevation so I processed for 10 minutes but 5 minutes if you aren't at elevation.

And, at the end, I have five 250-ml jars of a beautiful, ruby-red relish that has a wonderful flavour.

My kimchi also needed finishing today.  Joel and I both tasted it and we liked the flavour.  Now, since this was the first time I had made fermented kimchi, I didn't want too much heat, or the kids wouldn't touch it.  That's why it doesn't have the tell-tale red parts in the kimchi.  It has a teeny kick, though, but only from the Korean chili powder, as I didn't put any hot red peppers in it.

The recipe I used allows me to can it so it becomes shelf stable.  So, my big bowl of fermented kimchi resulted in six 500-ml jars and one 250-ml jar.

No salsa making today, though.  Last night, when I was writing, I had forgotten the kids had their annual eye exams this afternoon, so the salsa will have to be done tomorrow.

Beet Stalk Relish

10 cups diced beet stalks
1/4 cup coarse pickling salt

2 medium onions, diced

2 cups white vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. mustard seed

1/4 cup cornstarch (preferably Clear-Jel)
1 tsp. mustard powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/4 cup cold water

Salt the stalks, mix, and let sweat for 2 hours.  Add onion, mix, and let sweat for 30 more minutes.  Drain well.

In pot, bring to boil vinegar, sugar, celery seed, and mustard seed.  Add drained stalks and onion.  Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Stir together cornstarch, mustard powder, turmeric, curry powder, and cold water.  Add to pot and bring back to a boil until thickened.

Fill hot sterilized jars.  Process for 5 minutes (adjust for elevation).

Makes five 250-ml jars.


Ronnie said...

I made your beet stalk relish today. I am hoping it firms up a bit more as it cools but it is quite delicious. I found it quite sweet and will probably cut down on the sugar a bit next time.