Edible Alphabet Recipe of the Week: Haitian Pikliz

By Lindsay S. RSS Tue, June 2, 2020

Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center. The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. While Free Library locations remain closed to the public in the interest of public health and safety, we will be sharing weekly recipes from our class curriculum and past participants.  

This week in the Edible Alphabet kitchen, we’re whipping up a batch of the delicious Haitain condiment known as pikliz (pronounced peak-lees). This zesty and spicy vegetable relish makes a great addition to grilled and fried meat, fish, and vegetables. Pikliz will last up to two weeks when stored covered in the refrigerator, so make some tonight to go with grilled chicken and use it all week to lend some Caribbean flair (and heat) to eggs, rice and beans, plantains, burgers—you name it.

This recipe comes from Edible Alphabet participant Nahomie, who brought a batch of her delicious homemade pikliz to our class celebration this past fall. I was inspired to share this recipe after seeing chef Gregory Gourdet win a challenge on Top Chef All-Stars last month when he made, marketed, and sold his version of pikliz with his mother. Interested in cooking like a top chef yourself? Check out our collection of e-cookbooks or try the recipe below!

Haitian Pikliz


  • 1 small head of green cabbage (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ medium bell pepper (yellow, red, or green)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 1 large carrot 
  • 1-2 scotch bonnet peppers (substitute habanero or other chili pepper if needed)
  • ½ cup cane vinegar (substitute cider vinegar or white vinegar if needed)
  • ½ lime (juice only)
  • Salt to taste 
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Cloves to taste


  1. Use a cutting board and knife to thinly slice green cabbage, onion, bell pepper, scallions, and scotch bonnet pepper. 
  2. Finely chop garlic clove.
  3. Peel and coarsely grate carrot.
  4. Combine cabbage, onion, bell pepper, scallions, scotch bonnet, garlic, carrot, salt, peppercorns, and cloves in a large bowl. Toss well.
  5. Pack vegetables into a large (1 quart) jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour vinegar and lime juice over vegetables until they are completely submerged in liquid. 
  6. Cover with lid and refrigerate for at least three days before opening for the best taste. Pikliz may also be served immediately. 

For more information about Edible Alphabet and the Culinary Literacy Center, visit freelibrary.org/cook or email kitchen @ freelibrary.org. Enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and stay tuned for another Edible Alphabet recipe next week!

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I love this so much I'll try to make it. No stores can keep it.
Tessa E - Arlington , TX
Sunday, January 24, 2021

I hope it turns out great, Tessa!
Lindsay - Free Library of Philadelphia
Monday, January 25, 2021