I pronounce the pickled baby beets and onions a success! I'd eat 'em straight out of the jar, but since I had a bounty of snap peas from the garden, I figured I'd try a combo- and it works!
The beets and onions are sweet and sour and the peas add a nice snap.
Just add one half pint of pickled beets to a pound or so of blanched snap peas and you get a quick, colorful side salad.
I blanched the peas for about 30 seconds in boiling water, drained them, and then ran cold water over them. An ice water bath would have been even better, but I'm lazy. I dried the peas on a towel after they cooled, gave them a good slug of olive oil and then spooned all of the beets and onions with most of the juice over the peas, avoiding the star anise and allspice. The salad was a good side for chicken sausage, but I could eat a whole bowl of it alone for dinner and call it good.