Oh my goodness! I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost two weeks. Cray-town, I know. Although I’m not completely sure how long it’s been, these past few weeks feel like a blur. But anyway, lack of posting doesn’t mean I’ve taken a break from the kitchen. Quite the opposite actually. After completing all of my culinary school classes, I’ve moved on to the required 100-hour internship. I was lucky enough to score an awesome internship at a super cool cafe/market, with a health-conscious, hipster vibe, in downtown Manhattan. It’s only my second week and I’m already learning a ton. Somehow, I still have the energy to be cooking up a storm at home, which includes my normal experimentation plus tons of meal-prep practice.
One of my go-to meal prep essentials (that’s also one the easiest), are these pickled red onions. This easy and healthy condiment elevates many of the dishes I make; salads, sandwiches, tacos, avocado toasts, you name it! Last week, these pickled red onions added the perfect sweet and tangy bite to some amazing falafel wraps. The week before that, a pizza topper. They bring a flavor punch to any dish, but don’t be scared. The punch is not the punch of a raw red onion, it’s far more palatable than that. Not everyone likes raw red onion, but pretty much everyone can get behind the vinegar-y bite of a deliciously easy and healthy pickled red onion. And now, I have this easy recipe ready to go for any future post that requires pickled red onions.
I have homemade pickled red onions sitting in the fridge almost always. I love the flavor, color and texture they add to my vegetable-centric cooking. It’s one of those secret ingredients (like my garlicky-roasted cherry tomatoes), that adds “umph” and “pow” to a dish, especially one that lacks the richness of meat or dairy. It’s one of those ingredients that foodies, especially meat-free foodies, should keep stocked at all times. My recipe is the lazy girl’s recipe. I don’t heat the pickling liquid (like most pickling recipes), but they still turn out perfectly.
Quick & Easy Pickled Red Onions
1/2 cup+ red wine vinegar
1/2 cup+ hot water
2 teaspoons maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener), optional
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, fine grain
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
In a glass mason jar (or any storage container large enough to hold 16+ ounces), combine 1/2 cup nearly boiling water, sweetener (if using) and salt. Stir or shake (lid on), until salt/sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup vinegar.
To slice onions like like mine… Cut onion into quarters through the root and growth ends. keeping the root end intact. Remove outer layer of each quarter, discard. Thinly slice onion quarters. It’s important to slice them as thinly as possible. Separate layers as you add onion slices to the liquid-filled jar/container and push down. Add more vinegar (or vinegar/water in equal amounts) until onions are fully submerged. Shake jar or stir once more to combine. You’ll likely have to push the onion slices to fit into the jar and to submerge them, they can be tightly packed.
Allow onions to sit for at least 1 hour. They really only need 20 minutes to add lots of flavor to dishes. But of course, the longer they sit, the deeper the flavor becomes and the brighter the pink hue gets. A deep, deep pink develops after about 2 days.
Store in fridge and enjoy within 2-3 weeks.