Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Elderberry and Red Cabbage Pickle Recipe

Homemade jar of red cabbage and elderberry pickle

This savoury elderberry recipe is delicious alongside cheeses and as a salad option. I love it as a warming side dish with sausages and mashed potatoes which perfect for autumn and winter! It keeps well for several months too.

About Elderberries

Elderberries contain anti-viral properties but shouldn't be eaten raw (they can cause stomach upsets). You can find out more out elderberries in my Wild and Sweet book. There are so many benefits to elderberries including divine recipes!

There is also a whole Elder section on my blog where I share Elderflower (summer) recipes and Elderberry (autumn) recipes. Most elderberry recipes are sweet, so I'm so pleased to share this pickle recipe with you. It's simple, tasty and quick.

Rachel Lambert picking elderberries

When to pick Elderberries

Elderberries are an autumnal wild fruit and are available for a short window at the beginning of autumn. You can always freeze the berries and use later in winter too.

Homemade jar of red cabbage and elderberry pickle

Elderberry and Red Cabbage Pickle Recipe

A spiced pickle infused with the cooked juice of elderberries.

Makes 675g

Ingredients
  • 300g red cabbage
  • 1-2 (50g) shallots or small onion
  • 2 tsp salt, plus an extra pinch
  • 275g elderberries (off the stalks and washed)
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • ½-1tsp black peppercorns
  • ½-1tsp cloves
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 25g raisins
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
Plate of elderberry and red cabbage pickle for a foraging event in Cornwall

Finely chop the cabbage and onion, add to a large bowl along with the two teaspoons of salt and toss until covered. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Meanwhile press the elderberries through a fine sieve to extract the juice, there should be about 175ml and add to a small pan with half the cider vinegar, peppercorns, cloves and fresh ginger. Simmer for 15 minutes then strain off the spices and return the liquid to the pan. Rinse the cabbage and onion through a colander to remove any excess salt and add to the saucepan along with the mustard seeds, raisins, sugar and the pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.

Store in sterilised jars. Make sure to use sealed lids without any exposed metal, as vinegar corrodes metal. Keep in the fridge and enjoy along meat or cheeses.

Homemade jar of red cabbage and elderberry pickle

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