Cookbook cover for THE ROUGHWOOD BOOK OF PICKLING: Homestyle Recipes For Chutneys, Pickles, Relishes, Salsas And Vinegar Infusions

THE ROUGHWOOD BOOK OF PICKLING: Homestyle Recipes For Chutneys, Pickles, Relishes, Salsas And Vinegar Infusions

William Woys Weaver

September 10, 2019
ISBN-13: 978-0789336781

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William Woys Weaver is an internationally known food historian and a rare four-time winner of the prestigious IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Awards.  A master gardener, Weaver is the author of numerous books on food history and gardening, including Heirloom Vegetable Gardening and has appeared on such national programs as Good Morning America (with Julia Child) and has been the subject of articles in Americana, Food & Wine, Food Arts, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, and Country Living.  Weaver received his doctorate in food studies at University College Dublin, Ireland, the first doctorate awarded by the University in that field of study.  He is Curator Emeritus of the Roughwood Seed Collection of heirloom food plants (which numbers over seven thousand heirloom varieties) at the historic Lamb Tavern in Devon, Pennsylvania.

William Woys Weaver, a highly regarded food historian and four-time IACP award winner, offers bold flavors, global influences, heirloom prestige, and a master gardener’s expertise in his new book THE ROUGHWOOD BOOK OF PICKLING: HOMESTYLE RECIPES FOR CHUTNEYS, PICKLES, RELISHES, SALSAS, AND VINEGAR INFUSIONS.  Featuring a wide array of creative and inspiring recipes designed to take advantage of seasonal and heirloom produce, readers will find Indian-style chutneys, Latin American ajís and salsas, and Japanese-style recipes alongside European and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch pickles and more in this flavor-forward gem of a book.  Beginners and experts alike can learn from Weaver’s accessible instructions, experienced voice, and global palate.

THE ROUGHWOOD BOOK OF PICKLING reflects the rich diversity of the Roughwood Seed Collection with many of the pickle recipes coming from heirloom vegetables grown in Weaver’s own garden. Chapters titled “Hot and Spicy,” “Salty and Fermented,” and “Sweet and Sour,” and an additional section for vinegar infusions, showcase original recipes created by Weaver.  Sample recipes include:

  • Bengali Green Chile Pickle
  • Pickled Okra with Chipotle Pepper
  • Peruvian Peanut Salsa
  • Spicy Cauliflower and Broccoli Pickle
  • Spicy Yellow Tomato Catsup
  • Cypriot Brine-Cured Green Olives
  • Flaming Kimchi
  • Lemon-Brined Carrots
  • Mediterranean-Style Pickled Cardoons
  • Lebanese-Style Pickled Eggplant
  • Polish-Style Cucumber Pickles
  • Salt-Cured Herbs
  • Five-Bean Chow-Chow
  • Japanese-Style Sweet and Sour Plums
  • Pickled Brown Figs
  • Sweet and Sour Green Tomato Pickle
  • Vinegar Cherries
  • Coriander Vinegar


Pepper Sherry

(Borie’s Scotch Bonnet Sherry)

Yield: 1 quart (1 liter)

Pepper sherry was once a Philadelphia institution, a necessary condiment for elegant soups, terrapin dishes, and seafood in general. No well-appointed table was without it. The most soughtafter label was Borie’s, and until 1988 it was still made by John Wagner and Sons, Inc., an old Philadelphia firm specializing in fine teas, wines, and spices. The Borie recipe traces to Elizabeth Beauveau, who with her five daughters escaped an 1802 slave rebellion in Haiti and soon thereafter set up a boarding house in Philadelphia catering to French immigrants. From Cap Francois, Madame Beauveau brought seeds for the distinctive pepper that the family had used for making the pepper sherry they had been exporting to Philadelphia since the 1780s—the same variety today known as the orange Scotch bonnet pepper. Madame Beauveau’s pepper sherry tradition was carried forward by her daughter, Sophie Beauveau, who married J. J. Borie in 1808 and continued to grow the peppers in a greenhouse at their Eaglesfield Farm, in what is now the Fairmount Park section of Philadelphia. Those peppers supplied the family with the ingredients for their famed pepper sherry, a basic condiment for classic Philadelphia pepper pot soup.

  • 4 ounces (65g) ripe orange Scotch bonnet peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 fresh bay leaves, bruised
  • 6 whole allspice berries
  • 1-quart (1 liter) Madeira or sweet sherry

Sterilize the jar(s), lid(s), and ring(s), or bottle(s) in a large pot of lightly boiling water, then wipe them dry. Once the bottles or jars are cool, add the prepared peppers, garlic, bay leaves, and allspice (or divide evenly). Cover with the Madeira, then seal tightly. No cooking is required.

Set the sealed jar(s) or bottle(s) away in a cool, dark place for 1 month to mature. After the infusion has cured, strain out the peppers, garlic, bay leaves, and allspice, wash out the bottle, then pour the pepper sherry back into the same bottle and store in a cool place out of direct sunlight until needed.

Since this recipe makes a concentrated pepper sherry, the strength of the spices can be adjusted by diluting the finished product with more Madeira according to taste.

Louisiana-Style Pickled Pumpkin with Chayote (Merliton)

Yield: About 2 quarts (2 liters)

This beautiful pickle is best when several different kinds of pumpkin are used—yellow-, white-, and orange-fleshed types all work. You can even use summer squash like yellow crookneck; just be certain that your fruit is firm. Furthermore, if you can find a mix of tiny okras of different colors, this will add to the visual impact: I prefer the heirloom varieties called Red Velvet, Green Velvet, and White Velvet. Do note that you will need to pare off the skin of the pumpkins but not the chayote.

  • 3½ pounds (1.75kg) mixed pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 8 ounces (250g) diced chayote
  • 8 ounces (250g) pared and sliced mixed yellow, orange, and white carrots (weight after paring and slicing; about 4 medium)
  • 8 ounces (250g) baby okra, tips and stems removed
  • 4 small orange sweet peppers (4 ounces/125g), seeds removed, sliced into rings
  • ¼ cup (25g) hot red pepper, sliced into rings, or to taste (weight after slicing)
  • 1 medium onion (8 ounces/250g), sliced in half lengthwise, then thinly sliced
  • 10 fresh bay leaves
  • 5 cups (2.25 liters) distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup (250g) organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) kosher sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (50g) whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup (45g) finely chopped fresh dill

In a deep nonreactive preserving pan, combine the pumpkin, chayote, carrots, okra, sweet peppers, hot pepper, onion, and bay leaves and set aside.

In another large nonreactive preserving pan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, allspice, and cloves with 3 cups (750ml) spring water. Place over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, and keep at a steady boil for 5 minutes. Pour the hot brine over the pumpkin mixture, cover, and let stand at room temperature overnight.

The next day, bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat and cook until the vegetables are tender but not soft, 25 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of pumpkins used.

While the mixture cooks, sterilize the jar(s), lid(s), and ring(s) in a saucepan of lightly boiling water.

Stir the dill into the pumpkin mixture, then transfer to the prepared jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark place to mature for 2 weeks, then serve as needed. It will keep unopened for at least 1 year.

© The Roughwood Book of Pickling, by William Woys Weaver, Rizzoli, 2019.  All images credited © Noah Fecks. No images or text may be reproduced in any way, published or transmitted digitally without written permission from the publisher.  For image permission to accompany your coverage, or for any other publicity information about this title, please contact Nicki Clendening at 646.330.4878 or

Contact: Nicki Clendening