A quick red cabbage and beetroot pickle to speed up Christmas Day

If you don’t want to cook everything on the day, have a jar of pickle ready to go, says Prudence Wade

Sunday 19 December 2021 08:00
<p>This pickle will add a bit of zing to any dish </p>

This pickle will add a bit of zing to any dish

Lucy Brazier from River Cottage has been preparing her festive larder since September – and one of the most important things she keeps stored away is a flavoursome jar of pickle.

This red cabbage and beetroot version will add a bit of zing to any dish, not to mention a particularly dramatic colour…

Red cabbage and beetroot pickle

Makes: 1.5L jar


200g beetroot, peeled and grated

500g red cabbage, sliced

Finely grated zest of 2 oranges

10g cumin seeds, toasted and bashed

5g caraway seeds toasted and bashed

5 juniper berries, lightly crushed

For the pickling liquor:

700ml cider vinegar

20g coriander seeds, toasted

20g fennel seeds, toasted

10g black peppercorns

20g salt

1 dried red chilli (optional)


1. First, prepare the pickling liquor. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan, pour on 200ml water and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for an hour.

2. Meanwhile, put the beetroot, red cabbage, orange zest and spices into a bowl and toss to mix.

3. Bring the infused pickling liquor back to the boil, then pour it through a sieve straight over the veg mix. Stir to combine.

4. This pickle is nice to eat as soon as it cools, but ideally should be packed into a sterilised 1.5L Kilner jar, sealed and left for a couple of weeks. It will keep in a cool, dark cupboard for up to six months; once opened, it needs to be stored in the fridge.

‘Christmas at River Cottage’ by Lucy Brazier and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (published by Bloomsbury Publishing, £22; photography by Charlotte Bland), available now.

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