Pickled vegetables: asaragus, radish, red onion and rhubarb.

How to make sweet and sour pickled vegetables

With the rhubarb and asparagus season coming to an end soon, I wanted to share a recipe that will give you rhubarb beyond the end of the season. In fact, you can use this basic recipe to pickle almost any vegetable of your choice. I would stay away from pickling soft veggies like tomatoes, but otherwise, the world is your oyster.

I actually had pickled rhubarb in a lovely café and wine bar in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg called Material the other day and got inspired by that. I really like their concept: coffee and baked goods during the day and Spanish natural wines with tapas in the evening. Check them out next time you are in the neighbourhood.

This particular recipe uses quite a large amount of sugar, apple cider vinegar, and a little bit of salt, so it is quite sweet, but the vinegar helps with the blood sugar balance, and you usually do not consume much of the sugary vinegar liquid. I sometimes use a dash in salad dressings, though it really gives a regular dressing a good kick.

Here is what you need:


  • 200ml apple cider vinegar
  • 100ml filtered tap water
  • 75g of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300g of white asparagus or rhubarb – cut into diagonal slices – the white asparagus needs to be peeled before cutting it into slices.


  1. Place vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spices in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool.
  2. Put the asparagus or rhubarb in a sterilised mason jar and pour the liquid over the vegetables. It is okay to do this when the liquid is still warm. Close the lid, place jars in the fridge and the pickles are ready to be eating after 1-2days.
  3. To sterilize the jar(s): pre-heat the oven at 160C/ 140C fan, pour boiling water into the jar(s), leave to sit for 5 minutes, and then discard the water. Now place the jars in the oven and dry for 10 minutes.