With the notable exception of making 125 jars of strawberry jam for our wedding guests some 20 years ago and the occasional flirtation with infused oils, my adventures in canning, curing, pickling and preserving (beyond freezing) have been rather restrained.
And yet there is everything to love about this age-old practice. Sensible, economical and the ideal way to enjoy food captured at the peak of freshness throughout the year, notably during off-season. Plus, you get to think of yourself as a real home cook à la pioneer woman when you’re sterilizing bottles.
And then there’s the whole pantry envy thing – you know, those adorable jars of chutneys, salsas, relishes, jams & jellies you see laid out with colorful cloth tops on the shelves of those who have honed the craft or that you come across while browsing through country style magazines ~ those gorgeous panoramic spreads complete with lavender fields and vintage farm houses that leave you dizzy with desire as they cast a spell of enchantment.
Or is that just me?
Anyway, I think one of the things that’s kept me from getting my jam jaring mojo on is that these practices generally involve fastidious steps, not to mention exacting a hefty toll on your time. Taken together, good intentions sometimes fall short of actualization.
Enter these blushing pink pickled onions.
No fancy equipment or crushing time demands involved, just a clean and simple lidded jar will do and they are ready to enjoy in 30 minutes.
And not just a pretty face either ~ these briny delights are full of personality! Salty, barely sweet, sour and tangy they get along well with virtually every food combination you can dream of pairing them with from canapés (atop cheese and dips of all kinds), mingled in with salads and sandwiches, alongside grilled proteins and meal bowls – or – straight out of the jar – yup, they’ll curl your toes in every direction.
Look out for some of our favorite ways to enjoy them in upcoming posts.
- 1 medium red onion, peeled quartered and sliced thin
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced in half
- 8 or so peppercorns (I used rainbow)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Bring a kettle of water to boil.
- Place sliced onions in a colander or mesh sieve and hold over sink. Carefully pour boiling water over the onions to soften them, allowing the water to simply drain through. Set aside.
- Stir together the vinegar, sugar and salt in a clean pint size mason jar (I use a small whisk) until sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Layer in the warm soft onions, garlic, thyme sprigs and peppercorn, making sure everything is submerged in the vinegar mixture.
- The jar will be quite full - if you have leftover onions that don't fit, simply use them for another purpose (or for round two of pickling!).
- Place lid and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.
- Leftover pickled onions will store for 10 days or so in the fridge.
Cutting the Onion - I suggest cutting the onion in four because I find the smaller pieces of pickled onion easier to work with on food (and less of a choking hazard) than the stringy full rings which can be quite long and tangly.
Warming the Onion - running boiled water over the onion softens it while facilitating absorption of the brine and seasonings.
Health Benefits of Onions - humble though they may be, onions are part of the allium family of disease-fighting phytochemicals that have been shown to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels as well as guarding against certain forms of cancer including colon and prostate.