I like to grow Longor a French variety of shallot that yields a handful of long pinky bulbs to pickle in white vinegar, it couldnt be simpler.

Now there are many methods, but I am just giving you mine…

Wash your jars in very hot soapy water, then place in the oven at 100c for 15 mins, then turn off and leave there till needed

Then snip the muddy roots off your onions if they are out the garden, and put all the onions in a large pan and pour over boiling water. Now take them out a few at a time with a slotted spoon, peel the onions leaving them whole. Pack them tightly into sterilised jars as you go till you have them all done. This just stops me crying!

Next, I like to add a few mustard seeds to each jar, and one or two juniper berries, peppercorns and whole allspice, you can put a dried chilli in too if you like them hot.

Finally, take a really good quality white pickling vinegar – I mean over 5% acidity – if you buy cheap vinegar your work will be wasted as the pickles wont keep well. Pour cold over the onions and ensure it covers them completely. If you like use brown pickling vinegar, it will just taste maltier. I just love to see the pink onions in the bottle!

Alternatively, if you like sweet pickles then put 3cups of sugar in saucepan and a litre of white wine vinegar (even add cloves and a cinamon stick if you want), heat and dissolve the sugar gently and pour into jars to cover onions.

Seal tightly and store in the dark for at least a couple of months before eating. Great Festive gifts and will keep for years if unopened.