Spring has officially sprung, and so has our craving for fresh, earthy foods like this Pickled Beet Salad. Made with local produce from our friends at Jones Valley Teaching Farm in downtown Birmingham, this jar salad combines crisp greens, salty feta, and tangy beets for a mouthwatering experience.
First, let’s dig into a beloved Birmingham institution, Jones Valley Teaching Farm. Avant, a Graduate Apprentice at JVTF, explained the mission behind this organization: to transform and improve educational experiences through the power of growing food. Through urban farming, JVTF also provides fresh, nutritious food to communities that don’t usually have access to it.
After harvesting some homegrown beets, we tossed together a pickled beet salad sure to satisfy all season long.
Pickled Beet Salad
For the quick pickled beets
1 bunch red beets
5 cups water, divided
1 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon kosher salt
5 whole peppercorns
Water and ice
1. Wash, dry, and trim beets.
2. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil. Boil beets for 30 minutes, until tender.
3. Place beets in an ice bath to cool, then peel and thinly slice.
4. For the brine, combine the remaining cup of water, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then allow to simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool.
5. In a large jar, pour cooled brine over sliced beets. Add peppercorns, cover, and set aside to pickle for 24 hours.
For the salad
Makes 4 servings
4 cups mixed greens
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Balsamic vinaigrette, to taste
1. Pour desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette into the bottom of a large mason jar.
2. Layer sliced pickled beets, feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and mixed greens into the jar.
3. When ready to serve, plate or eat directly from the jar . Enjoy this fresh picked salad!