Pickled Garlic

I worked this out from trying to imitate jars of Iranian Pickled Garlic which were briefly available in Leeds – adapting pickled onion recipes.


  • Enough cloves of garlic to fill the pickling jar to within about 1cm/¼ inch of the top –
    • if freshly harvested, separated, but NOT peeled;
    • if bought in, separate and peel the cloves (blanch them in boiling water for 20-30 seconds to make this easier)
  • [Optional – a brine (made up in the proportions 2oz/50g salt to 1 pint/500ml water)]
  • Enough vinegar to cover the garlic – imho, a white wine vinegar or malt vinegar work best; but it’s your call.
  • Any additional flavourings – like a sprig of thyme, rosemary, or tarragon; a couple of small green chillis split lengthwise; pickling spice, whatever.



  • [Optional – make up enough brine to entirely cover the prepared garlic cloves; allow them to soak for 24-48 hours. And the honest truth? I rarely do this … but it’s in my old recipe book.]
  • Put the vinegar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the pickling spices (if using), and bring to the boil for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  • [If you have brined your garlic, drain, rinse well, and pat dry.]
  • Pack your jars with the garlic, adding any herb sprigs or chillis, and pour over enough vinegar to entirely cover.
  • Keep it for at least a month before opening.
  • How long does it keep after that? Haven’t a clue, as it never lasted that long – the kids ate them like sweets!

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