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Meg's Recipe: Perfect Pickled Onions

At Roots we champion traditional food, recipes and techniques that are often overlooked in today’s busy lives. When it comes to growing vegetable crops, we try to maximise the value that can be achieved thinking around every aspect of the produce we grow minimising waste and in this way being more sustainable.

In early October we grade our onion crop reserving the medium and large onions for the farm shop and pulling back the smaller onions to pickle.
Packed and pickled into jars now, these onions will be ready for Christmas and if you are short of gifts, they make ideal stocking fillers! 


  • 6-8 Small jam jars with lids, 
  • washed and sterilised
  • 500g small fresh onions
  • 500ml malt vinegar
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1tbsp honey
  • Bay leaves
  • Cloves
  • Black Peppercorn/Pink Peppercorn
  • Coriander seed
  • Sea salt


Top and tail the fresh onions carefully removing the outer papery skin. Blanching the onions is optional, some find this makes them easier to peel. Lay the onions out on a tray and sprinkle them with sea salt, tossing them around. Leave overnight.

The next day the onions can be rinsed, dried and then stuffed into sterilised jam jars. Dress the jam jars with a fresh bay leaf, a few peppercorns (black, pink or both!), clove, coriander seed, maybe a chilli or two if you would like a spicy kick to the pickle.

Warm the vinegar, sugar and honey, stir to ensure this is fully dissolved. Taste the vinegar if you like, to achieve the level of sweetness you prefer. Pour the hot vinegar over the onions packed into the jars and seal the lids while hot to achieve a long-life seal.

Label and store in a cool dark place for at least six weeks for the magical pickling process to happen.

This recipe is one of Meg’s family recipes for you to use and share with your family. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact her. 

All the details are on the website: