Quick Pickled Red Onions
Recently I’ve been really into pickles. All types of pickles. Dill pickles. Cornichons. Pickled okra. Pickled green beans. Pickled hot peppers. And most importantly, my own homemade pickled red onions! It’s probably not a super good thing to be “in to” considering the sodium content of all the mentioned pickles is high. But I can’t help it! I love that salty, briny flavor!
I decided to make my own pickled red onions because I just can’t get enough pickles! And they are much more versatile than a dill pickle obviously. I’ve been putting them on my morning eggs, salads, sandwiches (including this delicious eggplant stuffed pita), tacos… you name it, I’ve been sticking pickled onions on top!
Now, you might be wondering what is so great about homemade pickled red onions. Well, unlike the store bought variety, you can completely customize their flavor! Plus, it takes literally 5 mins to make, so there is absolutely no reason to buy these. For this particular batch, I used garlic and peppercorns which added a nice kick. But you could really come up with any flavor combination you want.
- Slice the onions very thin. Part of the reason these are “quick pickled” is that it doesn’t take too much time to get pickling flavor infused in the onions themselves. Thick slices of onion will take a lot longer to pickle.
- Use a good quality vinegar. This recipe calls for a good amount of vinegar – so don’t just pour out some from that giant container of plain white vinegar you save for Easter egg dying. Use a good quality red wine, white wine or apple cider vinegar. Balsamic would work too, but I think the flavor is too strong and the brown color may be slightly off putting.
- Taste your pickling liquid. I know that might not sound super appetizing, but its important to do. Even if you add flavor enhancers like garlic, herbs or other spices, you want to get a feel for the tartness the onions will take on. The base liquid is a mix of vinegar, water and sugar. Customize the amounts based on your taste preferences. Add more sugar for a sweeter pickle. Add less for a more tart/sour pickle.
- Get creative! I love the basic recipe for these onions. But just a few fun additions like garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, red pepper flakes or curry powder can really take these over the top in terms of flavor!
Quick Pickled Red Onions:
- 1/2 large red onion, sliced very thinly
- 2/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 25 whole black peppercorns (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed (optional)
- Equipment: glass jar or container for storage – I used an old jam jar!
- Place the onions in your glass container with the garlic and peppercorns if using.
- Pour in vinegar, water and sugar. Make sure all the onions are submerged completely in the vinegar mixture.
- Close jar/container securely and shake for about 30 seconds so the sugar dissolves. Store in the refrigerator for about 15 -20 minutes for quick pickled onions. When ready to serve, drain desired amount of onion slices and top on your favorite dish!
- Onions will keep for 2 weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The flavor will continue to intensify the longer they sit.