Last Summer I had tacos that came with pickled onions as a topping, and something about the flavours made me slightly obsessed. I thought about making pickled onions on and off for ages, but couldn’t find a recipe I really liked the look of, so I sort-of forgot about it. Then a few weeks ago I was in Montreal for the Folk Alliance International conference, and I was served a dish with the most delicious pickled onions ever, and it reminded me that they are easy to make and that I ought to just give them a shot and see if I could come up with something I liked.
I read a lot of recipes, and this was what I thought would come closest to the delicious flavours I’m trying to approximate – not too much sugar or salt, a bit of fresh oregano, and cider vinegar for depth of flavour.
The colour is completely natural – they just turn that beautiful magenta-y red overnight – which is one of the fun things about them.
I’m still fiddling with this recipe – I made these with garlic, which on day 2 I thought wasn’t great, but on day 10 I thought was perfect – and I’m still deciding if the sugar-salt-vinegar ratio is how i want it. You can also fiddle with the spices – peppercorns or red pepper flakes for some spice, or allspice berries or other fresh herbs. It’s a nice small batch, and onions are inexpensive, so you can experiment without much fear. I’ll update as I go, but for now, here’s my basic recipe!
- 1 large red onion, cut into rounds and separated into rings
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 2 sprigs of fresh oregano (or other seasonings to taste)
- A 500 mL mason jar or similar
- Chopping board
- Slice onion into rings and place in mason jar
- Place onions, garlic, vinegars, sugar, and salt, in a medium saucepan and heat until boiling. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add oregano to mason jar
- Pour vinegar and onion mixture into mason jar.
- Allow to pickle at least one day for flavours to develop.
- Eat and enjoy!
Pickled onions are particularly good as a topping for tacos or meats like pulled pork, and add a nice tangy kick.
For more delicious recipes, visit my Family Recipes page!