Pickled Onions Recipe


It would seem that I am hell-bent to make this blog the place to go for recipes that you can’t make for a first or second date. Indeed, all of my recipes seem to be laden with garlic, peppered with onions, or soaked in bourbon.

Okay, so maybe the bourbon-soaked recipes would be okay if you’re looking for a little liquid courage on that first date. I tend to get really nervous on first dates and, when provided with liquid courage, tend to spill the beans on any number of topics which include but are not limited to my reproductive system, my obsession with Alan Rickman, or what happens when you feed me wheat. Yea. If’ you’re at all like first-date-me, maybe you should stick to tea.

If, however, you are comfortably settled into a relationship (i.e. they’ve seen you pee), then you can make pickled onions and eat them like my husband likes to – right out of the jar. The romantic relationship is, of course, not required. Make them for your best friend, your roommate, your landlord, your mom, your urologist, your neighbor. I’m not your boss. Although you could also make them for your boss.

Or, and here’s a novel idea, just make them for yourself. Label those jars as your property and eat them in front of your whole house, loudly refusing to share. Cackling maniacally is mandatory.

Pickled-onions-1.jpgThese are super easy to make, largely because we’re not messing with any of that canning business. These are what my grandma used to call “refrigerator pickles.” I’m sure that, if you have the knowhow or inclination, you could can these. I have neither of those things, however. Besides, I would probably give myself botulism.

And not in the super fun, “make your face an immovable mask” sort of way.

All you need are red onions, sugar, salt, white vinegar, and whole peppercorns. Away we go!

In a large pot, bring 8-12 cups of water to a boil. This really isn’t precise, so don’t worry about it.

While that’s heating up, slice your onion(s). My husband likes them really thinly sliced, but you may want beefier onion pieces. Go to, friends.

Put the onion pieces in a strainer and pour the boiling water over them evenly. This makes the onions less sharp tasting. Don’t ask me how. It just does.

While those are cooling, grab your clean mason jar(s). For this recipe, I sliced two large onions, which filled three 14 oz. mason jars.

Into each jar, pour 3/4 cup of white vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, and precisely 5 peppercorns (6 if you’re feeling ballsy). Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Once your onions are cool, you can begin to cram them into the jars. I fill them to the part where the jar begins to narrow. There’s a balance between packing the jar just right and overpacking it. You’ll know it when you see it. I think.

If there are onions not covered by the vinegar, add more vinegar to fill the deficit.

Isn’t that a gorgeous sight? Don’t you just want to wear that color all the time? Look again!

Screw the lids on tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. Prepare to be amazed by the transformation.

Okay. So maybe that’s the color I want to wear all the time. Here’s another, just for the sake of thorough photography:

And again, because I am nothing if not incredibly thorough:

We like to eat them on salads, more than anything. They are also dynamite on tacos (any kind), nachos (any kind), or, if you’re like my husband, right out of the jar.

They should be good in the fridge for a week or so, if they last that long. I like to make a few jars and give them to people. After all, what’s a cheaper gift than onions? Nothing. That’s what.

But you can tell yourself (and it’s true), they’re fancy onions.

Yea. Now go forth and make these, the Elaine Benes’s of pickled things.

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