• Yield: 6 pints

This is a pretty standard pickle, good for both sea rocket pods and saltwort. If you are inland, you can also use it for purslane, another succulent plant. Keep the proportions of salt, vinegar, and water and you can then vary the flavors to your liking. This recipe can be halved.


  • About 3 pounds saltwort stalks or sea rocket pods

  • 3 1/2 cups water

  • 3 1/2 cups distilled or white wine vinegar

  • 6 cloves

  • 6 large cloves garlic, smashed

  • 3 tablespoons roughly cracked black peppercorns

  • 6 large strips lemon or orange peel, about the length of the fruit

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (omit for saltwort)


Fill a large stockpot with water, add a handful of salt, and bring to a boil. Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the saltwort or sea rocket pods in the water for 30 seconds, then dump them into the ice water.

Bring to a boil the 3 1/2 cups water and the vinegar. Add the cloves, garlic, peppercorns, and lemon peel. Add the salt if you are pickling sea rocket pods. Let this boil for 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Using tongs, fish out a clove, a piece of lemon zest, and a smashed garlic clove for each jar.

Pack the veggies into the jars, leaving about a 1/2-inch space at the top of the jars. Pour in the hot vinegar solution. The saltwort or sea rockets should be completely submerged.

Seal the jars and process them in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.

Store for at least 3 weeks before eating, to allow the flavors to meld.

Unopened, the pickles should last a year. Store in the fridge after opening. Once opened, the pickles should last several months in the fridge.

Hank Shaw
Hank Shaw is a former chef who is now a full-time forager and writer. His work has been published in Food & Wine, Organic Gardening, The Art of Eating, Field and Stream, Gastronomica, Meatpaper, Edible Sacramento, the Stockton (CA) Record, Pheasants Forever magazine and Delta Waterfowl Magazine. He is the author of Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast.