Ever wonder how to pickle onions? It's easier than you think, and SO tasty!
I recently posted on Instagram that I had just made pickled red onions for the first time. I had no idea how easy this was, otherwise I would have been making them for a long time!
Making pickled onions really only takes a couple of minutes - it probably took me longer to photograph them than make them, and writing this post about pickled onions definitely took longer than the actual pickling did.
How to Pickle Onions
In this recipe I used a mixture of malt vinegar and red wine vinegar, but you can experiment with other vinegars as well, such as white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. I would stay away from regular white vinegar as I think it would be a little too strong.
Sugar isn't necessary but I think that it helps to balance to vinegar. In this recipe I chose to use some maple syrup. It was an easy addition since it was already in liquid form. You can try honey, agave, or just regular sugar as well (make sure you dissolve that into the vinegar).
I had some fresh rosemary on hand so I added a few very small sprigs of that along with some salt, fresh garlic cloves, allspice berries and peppercorns. Other herbs, such as oregano, bay leaf, or thyme would work. Get creative! Want something spicy? Try adding some dried peppers. Want something holiday-esque? Try dried orange peel and cloves.
How to Store
Pickled onions are best stored in glass containers, such as a mason jar. I love my Weck Jars so I used one of those. Keep them in the refrigerator after preparation and in between uses. They won't last indefinitely since you're not actually canning anything in this recipe, but with the vinegar's acidity a batch of pickled onions will last at least a couple of weeks - if you don't eat them sooner that is!
I'm really glad that I learned how to pickle onions because they've been a great addition to a lot of recipes. It just gives the overall flavor of the meal a little extra oomph if you know what I mean. And they were a HUGE hit - not a bite left over - with my friends at the cheese party I hosted. I paired them with thin sliced roast beef and some horseradish cheddar.
How to Use Pickled Onions
There are so many uses for pickled onions. Some of the ways I've been enjoying them lately are on deli style sandwiches, on a big crusty roll with shredded BBQ chicken in salads, as an accompaniment to a cheese tray, and on tacos, like this recipe for lemon pepper tacos with cilantro-lime slaw.
Have you ever pickled onions? How do you eat them?