Recipe: pickled red onions
Just under two weeks until official summer. There is Summer the Season, and then there is Summer the Mindset. And even though it may not appear to look like summer around here, we are most definitely in the mindset.
supervising yard work in the evening
hiking wet rocks
hey what are you trying to get a picture of there?
It’s not the temperature so much as the light. So much wonderful light and for so long into the evening. I’ll gladly bike, hike, run, ski if it means I can be outside, feeling my heart beat, seeing the transition as the snowpack gives way to streams, mud, and flowers. I don’t mind stepping into the mud and walking through deep puddles. It means I’m alive.
forest canopy reflected in a muddy shallow pond
a moose spied us before we spied her
sunset: fire on ice
Admittedly, I am spending a lot of my spare time outside. It’s good for my head, good for my body. My oncologist agrees. It also means I’m spending considerably less time in the kitchen making things that require long stretches of attention or babysitting. Anything that is going to make me hot and swear a lot is on hold until autumn.
onions make me cry
I’ve tolerated onions all my life. I was never a picky eater. In fact, when my sister and I were growing up, she’d pick all of the Chinese mushrooms, green onions, and other ingredients she didn’t like and put them on my plate. I wasn’t in love with onions, but I’d eat them if they were there. In the past decade I’ve gone from tolerating onions to liking onions. I don’t really attribute that to my tastes so much as my exposure to amazing ways to enjoy onions – and much of that exposure in the years since I began food blogging and dining with my food savvy friends.
ginger slices, star anise, cinnamon, bay leaf, red pepper, cloves
slice the onions
Can I tell you a secret? Half of the reason I love pickled red onions is because they are pink. I know. I know. I am not a huge fan of pink. I’ve learned to accept pink over time. It’s still not my color of choice, but naturally pink food is so cool and so pretty! Add to that the fact that pickled red onions are pickled and I’m kinda all over them.
add the spices to sugar and vinegar
blanch the red onions in boiling water
So I was at Whole Foods picking up some groceries and I thought, “Hey, it’d be great to have some pickled red onions.” I scoured the store. No pickled red onions. Sheesh, how hard could it be? Well, Jen… How hard could it be?! I whipped out the iPhone, searched for pickled red onions, clicked on Elise‘s recipe link (Elise is like Patagonia, like Apple, like Subaru, like Nikon – trusted, proven, loved), and said aloud, “Pffffft! Who needs Whole Foods? I’ll make my own damn pickled red onions!” I grabbed two red onions and we were off to the races.
drain the onions
simmer in the vinegar mixture
These are insanely simple and quick to make. I chuckled to myself at how easily it all came together – even while I was shooting the process! You get crunchy (I have a crunchy obsession – there, I said it), sweet, tart, and zingy all in these pretty pink slivers. Serve with grilled meats, on the side with some pâté, in sandwiches… Go! Go make these now! I’ll show you what I did with them in the next post. Hint: sandwich whore.
pretty (damn good) in pink
Pickled Red Onions
from Simply Recipes
1 lb. red onions
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
dash of red pepper flakes
2 slices of fresh ginger
Trim, peel, and cut the onions into thin slices. Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the onions for 2 minutes, then drain. While you wait for the water to boil for the blanching, you can place the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, bay leaf, star anise, red pepper flakes, and ginger in a pan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, then add the drained onions and simmer for a minute. Remove from heat and pour into a glass jar. The pickles will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator.