Quick Pickled Onions
I'm not crying, YOU'RE crying.
Happy Monday! I know. Screw you, Deb.
As an apology, I’m going to give you a recipe for quick pickled red onions, which are pretty and pink. They are fantastic on tacos, burgers, sandwiches or even for fishing right out of the jar with your (clean) fingers and consuming in front of the fridge when no one is looking.
OK, as promised, recipe near the top:
Quick Pickled Onions
Note: This is a fridge pickle, which means that you shove the ingredients into a jar, place it in your refrigerator, and then stride briskly away until you feel they are ready to eat. This is not a canning recipe where the jar is sealed and the food is preserved long term. These are meant to be used within a few weeks. When not being used, please keep them in your refrigerator.
Also, you will notice that I am using an empty Vlasic pickle jar to hold the pickled onions. In future emails, I may suggest some inexpensive equipment that you don’t already have, but I wanted to start off by showing you that you can make tasty stuff with ingredients and equipment that you have around the house. Don’t let the fact that you don’t own a Mason jar stop you from making good food.
3 tsp. sugar (I used brown sugar because that was what I had at hand. You can use white sugar, honey or maple syrup, but you definitely want a bit of sweetener)
1 tsp. salt
1 c. apple cider vinegar (you can use distilled white vinegar, rice vinegar or any other light-colored vinegar)
1 c. water
1 lg. red onion, peeled and halved
Optional: A pinch of hot pepper flakes if you are into the spicy
Empty glass jar with secure screw top. Sanitize the jar before starting by either washing in very hot water and dish soap, or by putting the glass jar in your dishwasher for a sanitize cycle. If your jar top is metal, just wash and dry that by hand.
Add first four ingredients to a bowl and whisk until the sweetener and salt are dissolved. You shouldn’t see any granules on the bottom. Set aside.
Slice the red onion thinly. I try for 1/8” slices, so they absorb the brine faster.
Pack the onions as tightly as possible into the clean jar without crushing them.
Pour the brine into the jar, making sure that all of the onions are submerged. Push them down with a clean utensil.
Using a chopstick, the handle of your knife or any other clean instrument, continue to push the onions down to release any air pockets.
Close the jar and put it in your fridge. As I said, stride briskly away for at least a day or two. No peeking.
You will be tempted to try them before that, but I promise you that they get better the longer they sit. In a week, you will not know how you lived without them.
You may have extra brine. Whisk in a bit of olive oil and use it as a salad dressing. Or slice up another onion and make another jar to give to someone special.
Obligatory “You’ve got this!” statement: You’ve got this, seriously. This recipe is whisk, slice, pack, fridge. You can do that. And remember, this is your condiment. If you like your pickled onions with a pinch of thyme in it, then add a pinch of thyme. There are literally thousands of variations on this recipe and you can make this taste any way you want.
Next time, I plan to drone on about the basics of fermentation, because some of what I make is fermented, like sauerkraut, or some hot sauces (and while this may sound gross, the “funk” of the fermentation lends hot sauces an amazing flavor, trust me!). It’s important to understand how to control a fermentation — don’t run, it’s easy! — so that your food tastes good and doesn’t make you sick.
During the meanwhile, have you heard Lola Blanc’s “One Eye Open”? So good.
Til next time,
Like you, I bought two onions, since I had a quart Mason jar to fill. Turns out, I barely had room for one onion in that jar!
The hardest part was playing the waiting game. I lasted barely 24 hours before I cracked the jar open, and I know they're not going to last the week. Maybe I should make up the second onion right now so that it'll have some time to sit while I finish the first jar.