Really people, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. Shallots, vinegar, water, honey. A couple of herbs, you know, just ’cause we can. (Ha! Get it? We can! Ah, I slay me.) Pack it all in a jar, process for 10 minutes, and hey! presto! you’re a canner. Cross that off your life list.
The devoted Local Kitchen reader (all 7 of you) may furrow your gentle brow, wondering why I would pickle shallots, knowing that I loathe all things pickle. Well, first off there is the March Can Jam assignment of alliums: onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, chives, ramps and garlic, to name a few. I’ve been perusing recipes and, as another low-acid food group, pickling is a natural choice for alliums. And, I’ve been thinking about my pickle loathing: maybe it’s just the standard pickling spice combination that I dislike, not the pickling process itself. After all, I love vinegar. And nachos aren’t nachos without pickled jalapenos. So, maybe I’m expanding my horizons. Or maybe I’m really lazy and this was the easiest allium-canning recipe I could find. Take your pick.
Since this was so easy, and since I was so lazy that I didn’t even bother to process it (I just stuck the pint jar in the fridge – it’s 57 degrees! Too nice out today to fire up the canner.), I’m posting this early as a Prelude to A Jam. Enjoy.
Adapted from Pink Pickled Shallots in The Glass Pantry by Georgeanne Brennan
Pink Pickled Shallots
- about 12 oz (3/4 lb or 2 cups lightly packed) shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup red wine vinegar (5% acidity or greater)
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp pickling salt (or Kosher salt, which may result in a cloudy brine but is safe to use)
- 3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
- 1 bay leaf
- If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids.
- Bring the vinegar, water, honey, salt and herbs to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes, to infuse herb flavor into the brine.
- Pack sliced shallots into a clean, sterilized pint jar, shaking the jar between additions in order to minimize air space, until a generous 1/2-inch headspace remains.
- Raise heat on the brine and bring back to a lively boil. Cover shallots in the jar with hot brine to 1/2-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles with the handle of a wooden spoon; wipe lid, affix rim and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Alternatively, store without processing in the refrigerator.
Yields 1 pint.
- Each 3/4 lb of shallots produces about 1 pint. Adjust the recipe accordingly to preserve more or less.
- The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of sugar in place of the honey. It is safe to eliminate the sugar/honey entirely if you wish.
- If you like, you may strain the herbs out of the brine prior to adding to the jar; there is sufficient vinegar in the recipe to make it safe to include them, and they will continue to infuse the brine with flavor, but may darken over time. Your choice.
Canned, in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year. Refrigerated: the recipe says to use within 3 weeks; I’ve had this same jar in my fridge for a year now. The last few lingering pickles are very pickly, but they are still viable. The brine has definitely darkened (I did not strain out the herbs) and once I use up those last few pickles, I will most likely toss it.
Shallots are generally available year round, as they can be planted in Fall, over-wintered, and harvested in late Spring, or planted in early Spring and harvested in Summer – Fall. Like onions, they are a great storage crop and can be stored for 6 – 9 months after harvesting.