The Art of the Quick Pickle

I love pickled onions. They are the perfect bright spot in a meal. They provide the subtle depth of sautéed onions, but they’re tart and acidic rather than sweet. The more I eat, the more I prize the presence of acidity in food — salt and fat without acidity is like Monet without color.

Many of my favorite sandwiches have been adorned with gorgeous pink pickled onions. I am ashamed to say that while I loved these onions, I never pondered the origin. When my culinary sensei Pam Saindon started regularly pulling  jars of this marvelous allium out of her fridge, I knew I had to make some of my own.

Photo credit: Pinterest (sorry I forgot to take a picture of my onions)

As it turns out. These onions are made in a process called the quick pickle (a hilarious name, I know). They are incredibly easy to make — so much simpler than I imagined. Also they look awesome in a jar — top notch Pinterest material.

How do you make quick pickled onions?

  1. Slice a red onion super thin. Put it in a mason jar.
  2. Pour apple cider vinegar into a sauce pan. Add salt and your choice of seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  3. Pour the boiling mixture into the jar. Cover the onions completely with the liquid. Let your onions sit for a while. Cover and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

THAT’S IT. The resulting onions are delicious and flavorful. I was preparing my onions for a taco bar, so I seasoned them with cumin, oregano and peppercorns for that authentic mexican flavor.

Here is the full recipe I used as a guide:

So go make yourself some quick pickled onions and thank me later.

(PS Always wear eye protection than chopping onions, if for no other reason than the thrill of being impervious to tears. I keep pair of old swim goggles in my pantry for exactly this purpose.)

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