Pickled Red Onion

red onion  

Red onions have a secret talent: they turn a beautiful, bright shade of purplish pink when doused with hot water and then stay crunchy and delicious seemingly forever.

Serve Pickled Red Onions in every imaginable context: next to or over hot or cold bean and grain dishes, with (or in) salads or sandwiches, on toast or crackers, with hors d'oeuvres—you name it.


2 medium-sized red onions (about 1 pound)
4 cups boiling water


1/2 cup cider vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons honey or sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves (optional)

Peel the onions and slice them as thin as you possibly can. Transfer them to a medium-sized bowl.

Pour the boiling water into the bowl, and let the onions soak in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly in a colander.

While the onions sit in the colander, combine the marinade ingredients in the same bowl, and mix well. Stir in the onions, and let them sit in the marinade for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the onions with all the liquid to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and chill until very cold.

Yield: About 3-1/2 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus time to chill (10 minutes of work)

These keep for months if stored in a tightly-lidded jar in the refrigerator.


Recipe from:
Vegetable Heaven
by Mollie Katzen
1998, Hardcover, US $27.50
Illustration art by Mollie Katzen
Recipes & art reprinted by permission


Vegetable Heaven



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