At the beginning of summer, I was gifted a bunch of onion sets to grow in my garden. We hadn't planned on growing any onions, but we received them gratefully and planted them all.
|This is just a fraction of the onions I grew. I gave some away and used quite a lot in cooking.|
So I had all these onions and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them since I prefer milder sweet onions. Then one evening "Pickled Onions" popped into my head for some unknown reason. I've only had them a few times on fish tacos, but they seem like they would complement quite a few dishes.
But since all sorts of odd things pop into my head, so I wasn't disturbed by this occurrence.
Sitting on the back deck peeling onions wasn't something that I really wanted to be doing on a Sunday evening, but that's when I had the idea so I just went with it.
I don't particularly like to cook but I do enjoy experimenting with cooking and creating new recipes. If I could afford it I'd hire someone to do the day in and day out life-sustaining kind of cookery.
Since I had no idea what to put in pickled onions I read through a couple dozen recipes for them. Not one of them was the same so I figured I could just wing it. YES! That's my favorite kind of cooking. Measuring is just too fiddly.
Also, I did not want to use any kind of sweetener so that I could eat the onions when I am doing a strict Whole30 dietary cleanse. These are not for the faint of heart... NO sugar to soften the vinegary bite!
So here's what I used, measurements are approximate...
6 cups sliced onions
1 quart white vinegar
6 star anise
1 Tablespoon whole cloves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon salt
liquid from 1 can of red beets
The beet juice is for color only. I wanted pretty pink onions! Use red onions and the beet juice is completely unnecessary.
First I seasoned my vinegar with all the spices. Just mix 'em together in a quart jar and let it sit for about an hour, depending on how strong you want it to taste. Then I strained out the spices and poured the vinegar and beet juice in a glass bowl with the par-blanched onion slices. (Par-blanch by pouring boiling water over onions in a wire mesh sieve.)
You could put the par-blanched onions directly into the jars and fill them with the pickling liquid to skip a step. I didn't think of that until later because all the recipes that I referenced were small batch and did not do a canning process.
I did a simple 10 minute water bath canning method (no special equipment) and all 6 half-pint jars sealed.
Love to hear that Pop! Pop! Popping as they settle!
|The jar on the far left has all the red onions. It is only slightly darker so I think I did a pretty good job of using the right amount of beet juice.|
That's about it.
I tried them right away on a plate of chicken salad. Um, YUM! We had them with dinner as a condiment for salmon. Eh, so-so. They will probably be served with burgers later in the week. Zing!
What do you think pickled onions would add a nice touch to?