Pickled Red Onions

Red Onions (Pickled)

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My grandmother often regaled me with tales of her adventures, particularly one about her journey to Mexico. As a young, adventurous woman with an insatiable curiosity for new tastes, she once found herself in a bustling Oaxacan market. There, amidst the riot of colors and lively market stalls, she chanced upon a jar of pickled red onions. Interestingly, the vendor, an elderly lady, generously divulged her family’s age-old recipe. Consequently, my grandmother, enamored with the flavor, brought this culinary gem back home, where it quickly became a cornerstone of our family’s cooking tradition. Now, whenever I prepare these pickled red onions, memories of her story and the rich culinary legacy it embodies flood back to me.

Furthermore, over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing this recipe with neighbors, friends, and relatives. Each time, they express astonishment at how a seemingly mundane ingredient can significantly enhance their meals. Indeed, whether it’s for a casual backyard BBQ or an intimate family taco night, these pickled red onions invariably emerge as the highlight.

Today, I’m thrilled to extend this beloved family recipe to you. But before we dive into it, let’s explore the fascinating art of pickling and understand why these zesty delights are indispensable in any kitchen.

halfed red onion

How to Prepare Pickled Red Onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized red onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
  • 5 whole black peppercorns

Step by Step Directions:

Begin by placing the thinly sliced red onions into a sterilized jar.
In a small saucepan, mix together the white wine vinegar, sea salt, sugar, and black peppercorns. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
Carefully pour the hot brine over the onions, ensuring they are fully submerged. Allow them to sit uncovered for about 30 minutes.
Once cooled, seal the jar tightly and give it a good shake. For best results, refrigerate for at least an hour, though they can be stored for up to two weeks.

thiny sliced red onions

What to Do with Pickled Red Onions

Onions have become a culinary favorite for many chefs and home cooks alike. Their vibrant color and tangy flavor make them a versatile ingredient that can elevate a variety of dishes. Here are some popular ways to use pickled red onions:

Tacos and Burritos: The tangy flavor of pickled onions complements the rich and spicy flavors of Mexican dishes. Adding them to tacos or burritos can provide a refreshing crunch.
Salads: Mix pickled onions into your salads for an added layer of flavor and a pop of color.
Sandwiches and Wraps: Whether it’s a classic turkey sandwich or a veggie wrap, a few slices of pickled red onions can add a zesty twist.
Grilled Meats: The acidity of pickled red onions can balance out the smoky flavors of grilled meats, making them a perfect side dish for barbecues.

What are Red Onions Good For?

Pickled onions are not just flavorful; they’re packed with health benefits too:

Rich in Antioxidants: Red onions are loaded with antioxidants, which help combat free radicals in the body.
Heart Health: Studies have shown that the quercetin found in red onions can help reduce high blood pressure and protect against heart diseases.
Digestive Health: Red onions contain fiber and prebiotics, which promote a healthy gut.
Anti-Inflammatory: The compounds in red onions have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

What makes red onions different from regular onions?

Red onions and regular onions, often white or yellow, are members of the same Allium family but have several key differences:

Color: Red onions boast a deep purple, almost reddish skin, whereas regular onions vary from white to yellow.
Flavor: Generally, red onions taste milder and sweeter, making them perfect for dishes needing a subtler onion flavor.
Usage: Chefs often use red onions raw in salads, salsas, and as garnishes due to their mild flavor, while regular onions, known for their robust flavor, are more common in cooked dishes.
Nutritional Content: Both onion types are healthy, but red onions contain higher levels of antioxidants like quercetin and anthocyanin.

Is regularly eating raw red onions safe?

Consuming raw red onions offers nutritional benefits, but moderation is key. Daily consumption may cause digestive discomfort or worsen heartburn in some individuals. Additionally, the strong aftertaste of red onions might not appeal to everyone. If you enjoy their flavor and don’t face any negative effects, adding raw red onions to your daily meals can be a healthy habit. However, if you have any health concerns or conditions, consulting a healthcare professional is advisable.

Frequently Asked Questions Related to the recipe

What are the best dishes to pair with pickled red onions?

You can top tacos, salads, pizzas, and sandwiches with pickled red onions to enhance their flavors. Their tangy taste pairs well with a wide range of dishes.

How long will pickled red onions stay fresh in the fridge?

If you keep pickled red onions in an airtight container, they will stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Can I make the pickled onions sweeter?

Certainly! Increase the sugar to your liking for a sweeter flavor. Experimenting with different vinegars can also introduce new flavors.

What variations can I try in this recipe?

Consider adding toasted cumin seeds, coriander seeds, or crushed red pepper flakes for extra spice. You can tailor the recipe to your taste preferences.

Why does my brine look cloudy?

The anti-caking agents in table salt can cause cloudiness in the brine. For a clearer brine, opt for sea salt or pickling salt.

What’s the secret to the best-flavored and textured pickled onions?

Let the brine and onions change to a bright pink color uniformly for the best flavor. The longer they marinate, the tastier they become.

Can I use different onion types for this recipe?

Although red onions are ideal for their color and flavor, you’re welcome to experiment with other onion types. Note that this may alter the taste and appearance.

Should I refrigerate the pickled onions?

For optimal flavor development and freshness, it’s best to refrigerate the pickled onions.

Red Onions (Pickled)

Pickled Red Onions

The magic of pickled red onions, a tangy topping perfect for various dishes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 cups

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium-sized red onions thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
  • 5 whole black peppercorns

Instructions
 

  • Begin by placing the thinly sliced red onions into a sterilized jar.
  • In a small saucepan, mix together the white wine vinegar, sea salt, sugar, and black peppercorns.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Carefully pour the hot brine over the onions, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  • Allow them to sit uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  • Once cooled, seal the jar tightly and give it a good shake.
  • For best results, refrigerate for at least an hour, though they can be stored for up to two weeks.
Keyword pickled, Red onions

 

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