Preserved Balsamic Pickled Shallots Recipe


My favourite pickled onions are the Italian borretane onions, you also get them in farm shops and deli’s by the olives, I think what makes them so yummy is the balsamic vinegar pickling liquer. Paulie and I thought we would have a go at our own as we bought a balsamic that was far too vinegary to use with olive oil and we didnt want it to go to waste. We adapted a recipe from BBC Good Food, changed it slightly so the onions arent too oily or soft. Shallots are great too as when I last did this recipe I used pickling onions which were far too soft in texture, a good pickled onion should be sweet, sharp and have a bit crunch.

Ingredients (makes 1 large jar)


  • 500g  Shallots
  • 500 ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 300ml water
  • 50ml balsamic vinegar
  • 70g golden caster sugar
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper


  1. Peel the shallots and set aside
  2. 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 out into your sterilised jar , 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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