How to Pickle Vegetables - Recipes for Runner Beans, Green Tomatoes, Courgette (Zucchini) Pickle

by KathleenDuffy

Pickled Runner Beans, Green Tomatoes, Courgettes or Zucchini are an excellent way to use up the Fall vegetable glut. These simple pickle recipes ensure nothing is wasted.

Whether you grow your own vegetables or take advantage of the store-bought Fall bounty, Autumn is the time to get pickling!

It is extremely satisfying to see jars and bottles of jewel-like pickles, neatly labelled, lining your shelves. It seems to fulfill that ancient urge in the Northern hemisphere, to prepare for the long, hard winter ahead!

First Prepare Jars


You can buy pickling jars, but it's cheaper to use ones that you've saved up yourself.

Jars with vinegar-proof lids are needed, i.e. coffee jars with plastic lids are ideal. Wash the lids and jars thoroughly. Plastic lids can be sterilised by placing in store-bought sterilising fluid. Jars can also be sterilised in fluid. Follow instructions given.  Or you could sterilise the jars in gently boiling water.  

I prefer the oven method as I feel it is less likely to cause accidents.

If using the oven sterilising technique, metal lids can be put in the oven with the jars. Lay the clean jars and metal lids to warm in very cool oven, Gas ¼, 225°F, 110°C. Whilst they are sterilising make the pickle.

A Traditional Recipe for Pickled Runner Beans

Makes about six pints.


  • 900 g/2 lbs runner beans – after being trimmed and sliced
  • 700 g/1½ lbs chopped onions
  • 850 ml/1½ pints good malt vinegar
  • 40 g/1½ oz cornflour
  • 1 heaped tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 rounded tablespoon turmeric
  • 225 g/8 oz soft brown sugar
  • 450 g/1 lb demerara sugar
  • salt


  1. Put chopped onions into a saucepan with 275 ml/10fl oz of the vinegar.
  2. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until onions are tender.
  3. In the meantime, cook the sliced beans in boiling salted water for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Strain them and add to the onions.
  5. In a bowl mix the cornflour, mustard and turmeric with a little of the remaining vinegar to make a smooth paste.
  6. Add paste to the onion/bean mixture.
  7. Pour in the rest of the vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Stir in both amounts of sugar until they dissolve
  9. Continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
  10. Remove jars and lids from oven. By now they will be sterile.
  11. Pour the pickle into jars.
  12. When cold put on lids and label jars.
  13. Store in a cool, dark, dry place (or refrigerate) for about a month before serving.



Green Tomato Pickle

Makes approximately 900 g/2 lbs.

Thinking Ahead: At stage two leave for 24 hours

First prepare jars as above.


  • 1.3 kg/3 lb green tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1.2 litres/2 pints apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons black treacle
  • 1 tablespoon made mustard
  • 1 dessertspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 450 g/ 1 1lb onions
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Wash tomatoes, slice them thinly and layer in a bowl with the salt.
  2. Allow to stand for 24 hours.
  3. Place vinegar, treacle, mustard, curry powder and spice in a large saucepan.
  4. Bring to boiling point.
  5. Thinly slice the onions.
  6. Drain tomatoes – you can do this by placing in a clean tea towel and squeezing gently to remove excess liquid, or place in a sieve and allow to drip for a while, pressing gently if needed.
  7. Add tomatoes to the pan with onions and cayenne pepper.
  8. Bring to the boil again and simmer for ten minutes.
  9. Ladle into screw-top jars with vinegar proof lids.
  10. Store in cool, dark, dry place (or refrigerate).
  11. Keeps for appoximately three months. Once opened, keeps for one month in the fridge


Courgette (Zucchini) Pickle

Love this recipe!

Absolutely delicious way to use Courgettes from the Autumn glut! Beautiful with hamburger and an accompaniment to any winter dish. The tumeric gives the pickle a lovely mellow yellow hue.

First prepare jars as above.

Makes approximately 1 litre


  • 500g courgettes i.e. about 4 large ones
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 small onion
  • 500 ml/1 pint cider vinegar
  • 120 g/4 oz sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon crushed yellow & brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground tumeric


  1. Slice courgettes (zucchini) thinly into discs.Slice onion thinly.
  2. Place courgettes and onion into a large bowl.
  3. Add salt and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover with very cold water which includes some ice cubes and stir to ensure the salt is thoroughly dissolved.
  5. Leave for about one hour.
  6. Drain and place courgette and onion in batches between clean tea towels to get rid of excess liquid. Alternatively, use a salad spinner.
  7. In the meantime, combine cider vinegar, sugar, mustard, mustard seeds and tumeric in a saucepan and simmer for five minutes.
  8. Allow to cool until just warm when touched.
  9. Mix courgettes and onions with this cooled liquid in a bowl.
  10. Transfer to sterilised jars with vinegar-proof lids.
  11. Store in a cool, dark, dry place or refrigerate. Will keep for many months. Can be eaten the next day.

It almost makes you look forward to Winter!

Updated: 08/31/2013, KathleenDuffy
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KathleenDuffy on 11/14/2013

Oh, thanks for that ologsinquito. Really nice of you. :)

ologsinquito on 11/14/2013

Hi Kathleen, I'm pinning this to my "Things You Really Need to Know" board.

KathleenDuffy on 09/23/2013

Hi ologsinquito - it's not at all difficult. You just have to be methodical. It's very satisfying. :)

ologsinquito on 09/23/2013

This is a very thorough explanation of pickling. It doesn't look too difficult either.

KathleenDuffy on 09/05/2013

Kimbesa - Thanks for your comment. - Yes, time to batten down the hatches and stock up for winter!

kimbesa on 09/03/2013

Thanks for the's time to plan for the end of this season's garden, and pickles are great for that.

KathleenDuffy on 09/01/2013

Dustytoes - Zucchini one is really easy - go on! You'll love it once you get going! :)

dustytoes on 09/01/2013

Each year I think I need to do something with all those zucchini. The onion / zucchini pickle sounds good, but I am still intimidated by all that work. If I had some help in the kitchen I would definitely try it - or maybe next year.

KathleenDuffy on 08/31/2013

Jptanabe - the courgette pickle is really easy and tastes fantastic. Goes with everything - sausages, mashed potatoes, etc. I don't have a garden so I buy them from the shop and they are good value as they slice up and make loads!

jptanabe on 08/31/2013

Even though I love pickles I've never ventured into picklling my own! Thanks for the encouragement here, maybe I'll actually do it this year.

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