This condiment goes great tucked into a sandwich or tossed into a salad.
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If you were to peek into my refrigerator any day of the week, any season of the year, you would surely find a jar of pickled red onions. This bright, jewel-toned condiment offers a zesty tang to countless dishes and adds a lovely splash of color as well. It takes about 10 minutes to assemble and lasts for weeks in the refrigerator. What more can you want from a pickle?
There are countless uses for pickled onions. Tuck them into sandwiches, especially those with rich meats, like pulled pork; use them as a condiment to top tacos, bean dishes, and rich mayo-based salads, like potato or egg salad; toss them into lettuce salads, grain salads, and salads with sturdy greens, like kale. Their bright-pink color, crunchy texture, and piquant flavor will perk up almost any dish. They’re also perfect for serving with sandwich and salad buffets at parties.
I like to cut my onions into rings because I find the tangled loops are easier to scoop from the jar and I like the way they look. If you prefer, you can also cut the onions into half moons. They can be sliced paper-thin or into rather thick, 1/2-inch slices, but I like to split the difference and slice them slightly thinner than 1/4-inch thick.
I only use red onions for my picked onions, but yellow or white onions can be used as well. Of course you won’t get that lovely bright-pink color, but if that’s not a factor, then give it a try. Be sure to use a firm onion that is free of soft spots and blemishes.
- 1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
- 1 small clove of garlic, halved
- 5 black peppercorns
- 5 allspice berries
- 3 small sprigs of thyme
- 1 small dried chili
- Kettle for boiling water
- Knife and cutting board
- Sieve or colander
- Clean jar or container
Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.
Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.