Recipe Index

Picked Red Onions

Makes 1 1/2 cups onions

I’ve talked about the wonder of pickled red onions before in previous cookbooks; if you’re going to mess around with one “pickle” this is the one to make. It’s not even a true pickle in the sense you can make a small batch in less than 30 minutes, but they’re so damned easy to throw together their sweet, sour flavor, crunchy texture and brilliant pink hue will make anything from a sandwich to topping a soup all the more memorable.

While a favorite companion to Mexican food, I’ve included two variations with Indian and Middle Eastern flair. Pickled onions also cut through the richness of peanut-buttery West African Mafe stew.

3 cups thinly sliced red onions

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Place red onions in a large metal colander in a sink. Bring to boil 3 cups of water and pour over onions. Place onions in a bowl and mix with vinegar and salt and let marinate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Store any uneaten onions in a tightly covered container in the fridge.

Pickled onions can last for weeks in the refrigerator, so double or triple the batch!

Add the following spices for easy variations:

Indian pickled onions:

Add 1 teaspoon each toasted, popped black mustard seeds and fennel seeds.

Middle Eastern pickled onions:

Toast 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds and gentle crush in a mortar and pestle; they don’t need to be a powder, just slightly crushed is fine. A dash of cayenne pepper would be an interesting addition too.