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Balsamic pickled shallots

Balsamic pickled shallots

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • Plus 3 days standing
  • Easy
  • 4 x 500ml jars

Perfect partners for a creamy blue cheese

  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Nut-free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving
low insalt0.26g


  • 1 ½kg small shallot or pearl onions
  • 1l white wine vinegar
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 600ml water
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn , cracked
  • 2 handfuls basil leaves
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar


  • STEP 1

    Tip the shallots into a large bowl, pour over a kettleful of boiling water, leave to stand for a minute, then drain. When cool enough to handle, sit down, turn the radio on and get peeling.

  • STEP 2

    Set the peeled shallots aside and place all the other ingredients except the balsamic vinegar into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, then simmer for 3 mins. Drop the shallots into the pan and simmer for 8-10 mins until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the shallots and basil out into sterilised jars (see Know-how, below), then boil the liquid vigorously for 5 mins. Turn the heat off, stir in the balsamic vinegar, then pour over the shallots to cover. Seal the jars and leave for at least 3 days. Will keep for up to 3 months.


To sterilise jars, run them through the dishwasher, or wash well in hot soapy water, rinse, then dry in a low oven. If you’re pickling and recycling old jam jars, it’s important to cover the pickle with a wax disc first so the metal lid doesn’t react with the vinegar.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2008

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A star rating of 3.9 out of 5.8 ratings

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