How to Pickle Vegetables

Whether you grow your own vegetables or take advantage of the store-bought Fall bounty, Autumn is the time to get pickling! It is extremely satisfying to see jars and bottles of jewel-like pickles, neatly labelled, lining your shelves. It seems to fulfil that ancient urge in the Northern hemisphere, to prepare for the winter ahead!

First prepare jars

Jars with vinegar-proof lids are needed, i.e. coffee jars with plastic lids are ideal. Wash the lids and jars. Plastic lids can be sterilised by placing in store-bought sterilising fluid . Jars can also be sterilised in fluid. Follow instructions given.

If using the oven sterilising technique, metal lids can be put in the oven with the jars. Lay the clean jars and metal lids to warm in very cool oven, Gas ¼, 225°F, 110°C. Whilst they are sterilising make pickle.

A Traditional Recipe for Pickled Runner Beans

Makes about six pints.


900 g/2 lbs runner beans â?? after being trimmed and sliced
700 g/1½ lbs chopped onions
850 ml/1½ pints good malt vinegar
40 g/1½ oz cornflour
1 heaped tablespoon mustard powder
1 rounded tablespoon turmeric
225 g/8 oz soft brown sugar
450 g/1 lb demerara sugar


Put chopped onions into a saucepan with 275 ml/10fl oz of the vinegar.
Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until onions are tender.
In the meantime, cook the sliced beans in boiling salted water for approximately 5 minutes.
Strain them and add to the onions.
In a bowl mix the cornflour, mustard and turmeric with a little of the remaining vinegar to make a smooth toffees paste.
Add paste to the onion/bean mixture.
Pour in the rest of the vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in both amounts of sugar until they dissolve
Continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Remove jars and lids from oven. By now they will be sterile.
Pour the pickle into jars.
When cold put on lids and label jars.
Store in a cool, dark, dry place (or refrigerate) for about a month before serving.


Green Tomato Pickle

Makes approximately 900 g/2 lbs.

Thinking Ahead: At stage two leave for 24 hours

First prepare jars as above.


1.3 kg/3 lb green tomatoes
2 tablespoons salt
1.2 litres/2 pints apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons black treacle
1 tablespoon made mustard
1 dessertspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon mixed spice
450 g/ 1 1lb onions
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Wash tomatoes, slice them thinly and layer in a bowl with the salt.
Allow to stand for 24 hours.
Place vinegar, treacle, mustard, curry powder and spice in a large saucepan.
Bring to boiling point.
Thinly slice the onions.
Drain tomatoes â?? you can do this by placing in a clean tea towel and squeezing gently to remove excess liquid, or place in a sieve and allow to drip for a while, pressing gently if needed.
Add tomatoes to the pan with onions and cayenne pepper.
Bring to the boil again and simmer for ten minutes.
Ladle into screw-top jars with vinegar proof lids.
Store in cool, dark, dry place (or refrigerate).
Keeps for appoximately three months. Once opened, keeps for one month in the fridge


Courgette (Zucchini) Pickle

Absolutely delicious way to use Courgettes from the Autumn glut! Beautiful with hamburger toffees and an accompaniment to any winter dish. The tumeric gives the pickle a lovely mellow yellow hue.

First prepare jars as above.

Makes approximately 1 litre


500g courgettes i.e. about 4 large ones
2 tbsp salt
1 small onion
500 ml/1 pint cider vinegar
120 g/4 oz sugar
1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoon crushed yellow & brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground tumeric


Slice courgettes (zucchini) thinly into discs.Slice onion thinly.
Place courgettes and onion into a large bowl.
Add salt and mix thoroughly.
Cover with very cold water which includes some ice cubes and stir to ensure the salt is thoroughly dissolved.
Leave for about one hour.
Drain and place courgette and onion in batches between clean tea towels to get rid of excess liquid. Alternatively, use a salad spinner.
In the meantime, combine cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, mustard seeds and tumeric in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes.
Allow to cool until just warm when touched.
Mix courgettes and onions with this cooled liquid in a bowl.
Transfer to sterilised jars with vinegar-proof lids.
Store in a cool, dark, dry place or refrigerate. Will keep for many months. Can be eaten the next day.

It almost makes you look forward to Winter!

See Also:

Three Traditional Fall Apple Chutney Recipes – Instructions for making Kentish Apple Chutney, Shropshire Apple Chutney, Apple and Raisin Chutney.
One Pot of Jam From Your Microwave - A review of a book with a difference – make luxurious jam, chutneys and much more in the microwave.
Traditional English Toffee Recipes for Halloween – Make Cinder Toffee, Treacle Toffee and Toffee toffees Apples

2 thoughts on “How to Pickle Vegetables

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