Red beet is by no means a star of Romanian cuisine, but is still considered one of the staples
Nowadays it is mostly used in salads, but it used to see more variety in terms of cooking methods. Borscht, the best known preparation for western cooks, used to be popular, but it is now almost forgotten.
In autumn, people still pickle their own vegetables, and red beet features prominently among the favorites. It is simple to prepare, by baking or boiling. One of the most popular recipes is shredded cooked beet with vegetable oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Even more popular is the version where shredded horseradish is mixed with cubed baked beet. Horseradish is also used in most pickling recipes.
One standard way of preserving beetroot is to pickle it in combination with cauliflower. Peel the beetroot, then cut it into small cubes. Separate the cauliflower into florets. In a large pickle jar set down alternative layers of cauliflower and beetroot, introducing shredded horseradish and cloves of garlic. At the top place dried dill and thyme. To prepare the brine, dissolve one and a half tablespoons of rock salt into one liter of water. Bring the brine to a boil, let it cool, then top up the pickle jar.
It is a good idea to wear gloves when handling beetroot, since it leaves deep and persistent stains.