Obsessed with pickles? So are we. In a new regular feature, I’m exploring different ways of making this delicious fridge staple so you can enjoy seasonal produce all year round.
In the past we pickled our produce to preserve it for the cold lean winter months. These days pickles are afforded more whimsy — they’re simply a wonderful ingredient to gussy up your meal at any time of year, and fun to make. Scallions might not strike you immediately as something to put in a jar, but when bathed in salty spiced vinegar over a few days their sprightly flavour is deliciously enhanced. Pickled scallions are wonderful to throw into salads, tacos, loaded sandwiches — anywhere that you might want a zingy onion flavour without the acrid burn actual onions tend to have. This recipe is purposefully small, so you can test the piquant waters of pickling without feeling overwhelmed by rows of jars. Furthermore, because scallions are so tender and delicate these are really best eaten within about two weeks of making — though, this is no hardship.
Fennel and cumin seeds lend a hint of aniseed and earthiness, but the versatility of onions provides an ideal backdrop for any spices you might prefer to add. Dill, celery seeds, turmeric, and mustard seeds would all be excellent here.
Makes one jar
- 6–8 scallions
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons raw or white sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 3 black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
Chop the scallions into inch-long pieces and pack them into a recently sterilized jar with a one cup capacity.
Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan. Once it comes to the boil remove it from the heat and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
Pour the liquid and spices into the jar and seal. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Wait till the next day before you open them — if you have the patience, three days is better and five days is better still.
These will keep, sealed, for around two months in the fridge. Opened, they should last around a month.
- If the salt you have is fine table salt, use half the given quantity in the recipe. Iodised salt can impart a bitter flavour to pickles, but in this small quantity it should be fine.
- I used raw sugar here. Plain white sugar is also fine — just check the label to ensure it wasn’t processed with bone char. Brown, demerara, or similar darker sugars will work but have a pronounced caramel flavour.