Balsamic pickled shallots

Balsamic pickled shallots

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(8 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 30 mins Plus 3 days standing


4 x 500ml jars
Perfect partners for a creamy blue cheese

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Egg-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal25
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs3g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.26g
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  • 1½ kg small shallot or pearl onions



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1l white wine vinegar
  • 150ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 600ml water
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, cracked
  • 2 handfuls basil leaves
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…


  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.

  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Michael Turner's picture
Michael Turner
10th Jan, 2019
Do not try this. The oil makes them so slimey. These are really not nice
13th Sep, 2014
I made these, following the recipe exactly. I've just tried them and find them disgustingly soft, slimy and oily. I will be throwing the whole lot away and never trying to pickle cooked shallots again. On the plus side it frees up some preserving jars to make something else.
10th May, 2013
The oil creates a seal at the top of the shallots to help keep them fresh
12th Mar, 2012
Followed the recipe to the letter but have ended up with soft pickled onions and had to throw them all away! had some vinegar left over as ran out of shallots! Next day got some more and after peeling them poured the now cold vinegar over them. After three weeks absolutely perfect! Was it a wind up to simmer the vinegar mix with the onions in? I think it must be.
Rowena Wilkes's picture
Rowena Wilkes
15th Dec, 2011
Made these as xmas prezzies so hopefully everyone else will think they taste as nice as I think they are. Wasnt sure about the oil on the top but they really dont taste too oily. Very happy and will be making another batch soon. Didnt make the kitchen smell very nice though!
8th Sep, 2011
These are fantastic! Very easy to make and you will look like a Pro! EVERYONE LOVED THEM!!!
4th Aug, 2011
I am seeking a recipe to pickle garden vegetables ie onions, carrots, french beans, cauilflower , broccoli etc I don't want a picalilli recipe, as I am not too fond of it. Chutney recipes are also very welcome, Cheers
24th Apr, 2011
These were lovely, made a batch for Xmas, the wilted basil leaves look a bit sorry after a bit so we used them up pretty quickly.
22nd Dec, 2010
I bought a slightly bigger jar, and I left a bit of space on top... Will that be ok for the pickles??? I'm normally a confident cook, but I've attempted to make pickled veg before.... I'm worried that the space = air, which makes it non air tight, and it might go off?! Thanks!!
18th Dec, 2010
It looks like the oil on top is normal, if you look closely you can see the oil on top in the picture.


27th Oct, 2013
They sound great but I thought you had to be careful using oil and fresh produce because of botulism or does mixing it with vinegar make the difference? Sounds like the oil drifts to the top so should be OK unlike when using oil only.
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