If you've ever had pickled red onions than you understand. There is something about the crisp, sweet and sulfery taste that perfectly compliments a sandwich. If you love caramelized onions than these are their uncooked, summer time, brethren.
|BLTs are even better with pickled red onion. Served with a side of 'Sun Gold' cherry tomatoes and the last of this summer's blueberries.|
If you've never had them I highly recommend you make yourself a jar pronto. Then you too will understand.
Pickled red onions can also be served on salads, pizzas or eaten straight out of the jar. They are addictive. Consider yourself warned.
I had no idea how easy it is to make them either. I saw a recipe for pickled red onions and pinned to to my How Does Your Garden (and Pantry) Grow? page. I checked out the recipe and wasn't completely sold. I didn't want a bunch of spices like ginger, cloves, anise and cinnamon muddling up the flavor of the onion. So I did some searching and found these recipes to compare:
- Pommes de Amor - Tempura Green Beans & Cod Escabeche
- Closet Cooking - Pickled Red Onions (The one I followed the closest.)
- Simply Recipes - Pickled Red Onion (many of the recipes I found were this exact recipe)
- Use Real Butter - Pickled Red Onion (the one on my pinterest board)
There are a variety of spices and different types of vinegar used. I decided to keep it simple and go with apple cider vinegar because the slight fruitiness adds some depth. I probably would have tried red wine vinegar if I had it on hand.
For spices I chose bay leaves and whole black pepper. Although I'm not even sure if those are necessary.
Below's the recipe for what I came up with. I have made it several times now because I keep finding an empty jar in the fridge. And lucky me the co-op has red onion in the shares recently.
Aren't they pretty? Two onions of a medium size are just right for one quart of pickles.
It's such an easy recipe. All you have to do is slice the onions really thin like this:
You could use a mandolin if you have one. I just used a chef knife.
Then blanch the onions to halt any enzymes that are working to age your onions. Blanching also makes them a little soft so you can cram more into the ball jar. By the way, you should sterilize the jar and lid. One way to sterilize is pour boiling water over them.
After blanching the onions look like this:
Use a wooden spoon or other blunt object to stuff all the onions in a jar. Try not to be too brutal and bruise them as that diminishes the crunch factor.
Then heat the apple cider vinegar with the sugar and spices until just simmering. (Don't let it cook too long or the water will start to evaporate and make the ratios all wonky.) Pour the hot vinegar solution into the jar until it covers all of the onions.
Put a lid on it and let on your pickled red onions and let them cool on the counter before popping it in the fridge. It takes a full day for the flavors to develop and the color to become a solid bright fuchsia. And let's face it half the fun of these pickles are their lurid color.
What do you want to eat your pickled red onions with?
Pickled Red Onion Recipe
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 bay leaves
2 large red onion (peeled and sliced thin)
1 pint or 2 half pints with lids
- Sterilize your jar(s) by running through the dish washer, pouring boiling water over them, or submerging in boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Blanch the onion slices by submerging them in boiling water for three minutes. Then shock them in a cold water bath for 3 minutes so they don't over cook. Then stuff them into your prepared jar.
- Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, black pepper and bay leaf in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and everything is just starting to simmer. Do not cook too long or evaporation will ruin your ratios.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions in a jar. If there is too much discard the extra, but pack the loose spices into the jar. Let cool to room temperature on the counter.
- Put in the refrigerator over night and they are ready to eat.
Store in the fridge.