Pickled gherkins

Pickled gherkins
Preparing your own gherkins in vinegar is quite straightforward, if you know how to avoid a few pitfalls. Here's a recipe which works every time.
759K 3.5/5 based on 255 reviews
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Last modified on: August 21th 2013

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For 500 g, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 250 g 500 g 1 kg 1 kg 500 g
How long will it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingStart to finish
36 min.4 hours4 hours 36 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins
Wash the 500 g fresh gherkins thoroughly.

Stage 2 - 10 min.
Pickled gherkins
Brush each gherkin under running water to remove all the little "bristles" and give it a smooth surface.

Stage 3
Pickled gherkins
If you don't have a suitable brush, or if you prefer, you can use my grandmother Jeanne's method: rub them with the corner of a tea-towel.

Stage 4 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins
Cut off any remaining stalks from the gherkins.

Stage 5 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins
Rinse again, then dry with a tea-towel.

Stage 6 - 3 hours
Pickled gherkins
Put the gherkins in a bowl with 300 g coarse salt for 3 hours to draw off some of the juice.

Note: contarary to popular belief, there is no need to soak them any longer than this, as they will start to dry out.

Stage 7 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins
After this time, discard the salty water and rinse the gherkins...

Stage 8 - 1 hour
Pickled gherkins
...and soak them for 1 hour in a bowl of cold water. We do this so that the gherkins will not be too salty.

After one hour, drain the gherkins and dry them on a tea-towel.

Stage 9 - 1 min.
Pickled gherkins
Pour 1 sprig tarragon and a few peppercorns into the bottom of the jar you are going to use.

Stage 10 - 5 min.
Pickled gherkins
Fill the jar with gherkins and cover with cold white vinegar (there's no need to boil or even heat it).

Seal the lid and leave to mature for a month before eating.
You can use a different vinegar if you prefer, but if you do not use white vinegar, your gherkins may take on an unusual colour.
Several months.
According to the lady on the market who sold me gherkins.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
69 Kcal or 289 Kj6 gr12 gr0 gr
3 %2 %1 %0 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
6 Kcal or 25 Kj1 gr1 gr0 gr
0 %<1 %<1 %0 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Sulfites
How much will it cost?
  • For 500 g : 2.83 £

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
Coarse saltCoarse salt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Preserved lemons, How to prepare Jerusalem artichokes, How to cook pasta properly, Mackerel rillettes, How to prepare spinach, ... All
White (spirit) vinegarWhite (spirit) vinegar: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: How to prepare a lettuce, Poached eggs, Fish petals, vegetables julienne, and beurre blanc, How to prepare corn salad, Cervelle de Canut, ... All
TarragonTarragon: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Béarnaise sauce, Rillettes stuffed mushrooms, Chicken breasts with tarragon, Filet mignon with mustard and tarragon sauce, Spinach fritters, ... All
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The 7 comments already posted on this recipe
  • As you read it in the recipe: At your choice, white vinegar => classical gherkins, other vinegars (red wine vinegar for example) gherkins with unusual colour, but still goods.
    Posted by jh august 4th 2017 at 18:28 n° 7
  • Your instructions specifically say to use white vinegar, but then right below it u say you can use a different vinegar if we'd like, but don't use white vinegar because it leaves and unusual color....? Which one is it?? White or not white?
    Posted by Julie august 4th 2017 at 16:50 n° 6
  • I had been looking for an uncomplicated recipe for pickled gherkins. Great thing here is that it seems the most sensible and gets straight to the point without having to read lots of twaddle!
    Posted by Frederick july 3rd 2015 at 18:48 n° 5
  • Sorry, I don't know how to.
    My skill in garden work is close to zero :-(
    Posted by jh january 14th 2015 at 09:19 n° 4
  • Thank you for the instructions. I have just bought gherkin seeds for this year's summer, but did not know how to pickle them.
    I am looking forward to harvesting and pickling my own gherkins!
    Posted by Fumiko from Japan january 14th 2015 at 08:37 n° 3
  • I always leave them whole, because they are small and don't need to be cut.
    But if you use big one, I think (but not totally sure) that you can cut them in pieces.
    Posted by jh october 20th 2014 at 10:25 n° 2
  • Can the gherkins be sliced before putting them into the jar or would you recommend leaving them whole?
    Posted by Kirstie-G october 19th 2014 at 12:48 n° 1
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