Overnight courgette pickles

by | May 19, 2022


Makes 1 litre/35fl oz jar

  • 2 large courgettes (about 600g/1lb 5oz), shaved lengthways (cut the courgettes in half around the middle if the length is awkward)
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 3 basil sprigs, leaves picked
  • 175ml/6fl oz apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • 60g/2¼oz caster sugar
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp black onion (nigella) seeds
  • 1 small fresh red or green chilli, finely sliced


One of our favourite recipes, taken from our new book: Sea Salt: A Perfectly Seasoned Cook Book.

We love these pickles tumbled through warm roasted aubergines and red peppers, but really they are a welcome addition to any sandwich, toastie or barbecue spread. Slicing the courgettes into ribbons is easiest with fresh, firm courgettes and a sharp potato peeler or mandolin. Salting helps remove moisture from the courgette before you start pickling, to make sure they have the perfect crunch we all know and love.

Toss the courgettes, shallots and spring onions together in a largebowl. Add the salt and, using clean hands, toss the vegetables to combine. Pour the vegetables into a colander and suspend it over the bowl to catch any liquid that drains from the vegetables. Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

After the draining time, rinse the vegetables in the colander under cold running water for at least a minute, tossing a couple of times to expose all the vegetables to the water. Shake well and pat the vegetables dry with a clean tea towel.

Pack the vegetables into a sterilised 1 litre/35fl oz jar with a lid, nestling the basil among the vegetables as you go. Heat the vinegar, sugar and 160ml/5½fl oz water in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the peppercorns and black onion seeds and bring the mixture to the boil. Stir in the chilli and boil for 1 minute before carefully pouring the hot liquid over the vegetables in the jar. Cover with the sterilised lid and leave to cool before transferring to the fridge.

Leave to pickle in the fridge for 24 hours before opening. The vegetables will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

IMAGE: Liz and Max Harala Hamilton

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