Riverford Wicked Leeks
Pickled onions recipe image

Print Pickled onions

Ancient Egyptians believed the believed onion's circular shape and numerous rings resemble eternal life. With this easy recipe you can worship them in the traditional British way – by eating them with fish and chips, a ploughman's sandwich or cold cuts of meat. Let these mature for at least a fortnight before consuming.


  • 1kg onions
  • 100g salt
  • 1.2 litre water
  • 900ml spiced malt vinegar
  • 1 litre vinegar
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 15ml cloves
  • 15ml mace blades
  • 15ml allspice berries
  • 15ml peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. Place the unpeeled onions in a bowl (they are easier to peel after brining). Mix the salt with the water and pour it over the onions.
  2. Place a plate over the onions to ensure they are immersed in the brine. Leave for 24 hours to extract the moisture.
  3. Make a basic spiced vinegar - place the vinegar and the spices in a saucepan, cover and bring up to the boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to steep for 2 to 3 hours, then strain.
  4. Drain the onions, then peel. Rinse them well and dry them. Pour the spiced vinegar into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the onions, return to the boil and simmer for 1 minute. Drain the onions reserving the vinegar, then pack into prepared jars. Pour over the vinegar to cover the onions. Seal with airtight, vinegar proof covers.
want to cook with fresh ingredients? try one of our award winning veg boxes