Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions

Red onions are the perfect onions for pickling. When they’re raw, their vibrant hue and sturdy structure adds great visual dimensions and crunchy texture to everything from pasta salad to salsa. Pickling washes out the color a bit, but because they’re a firm onion, they retain their snap even in the wilting presence of vinegar. They become the kind of condiment that dresses up whatever you pair them with. Thanks to this recipe you can have versatile, delicious pickled onions with a minimal amount of effort. The hardest part in making these onions is waiting a few hours while they soak in the refrigerator.

These onions deliver classic sweet and sour flavor thanks to the brine we created with apple cider vinegar, Fine Sea Salt, and Demerara Sugar. That, on its own, would create a lovely pickle but we usually operate under the philosophy that one can improve on a good thing to make it great. We added a savory twist to the onions by building flavors into the pickling liquid with aromatic minced garlic and the sparkling vegetal heat of our Pennsylvania Pepper. Once we combined everything but the onions, we let it simmer and sit so the flavors got friendly with one another. Then we poured the marinade over the onions and let it go to work. That’s all you have to do here. Slice onions, mince garlic, simmer some liquid, and step back as the ingredients do the rest.

These onions are bright and bold, spiky with garlic and vinegar and a touch of heat from the pepper. If you wanted something more herbaceous you could add some thyme to the pickling liquid, or put in a pinch of pepper flakes for a spicier pickle. They make an excellent garnish for cheesy or oil-rich foods; the clean flavors add balance to heavier dishes and cut through the oils, adding brightness to the overall palate. We like them on Mexican dishes; in recent memory we’ve put them on Chilaquiles and Quesabirria Tacos, and I’m sure there’s a burrito or two in our future that will benefit from them. But they aren’t just for tacos! Add onions to hamburgers for a bright, vinegary snap, or lay them over chili dogs. Chop some to toss with potato salad. They’re great on grilled cheese, or tucked into a hummus wrap. The pickles should last about a month, covered, in your refrigerator, since the vinegar will help protect the food from unwanted, intrusive microbes. Should last. But they’re so delicious, I bet you they won’t last that long.

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Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 135 min.

1. Cut a red onion into thin slices and layer them in a mason jar.

2. Combine all other ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let rest for ten minutes, then pour into the jar of onions. Cover.

3. Refrigerate and wait for at least 2 hours.