Pickled Red Onions – Absolutely necessary as a blushing pink garnish and quite easy to execute. These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for a month and can be put on, well, everything! I opt to use a mandoline, though the recipe can be adapted to any thickness of pickle. I picked up this technique working brunch in a finer-dining kitchen and they’re utilized for a lox-bagel plate.
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced in half moons with a mandoline
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 + 1/2 cups boiling water, divided
- 1 T sugar
- 1 t kosher salt
Start by setting the water to boil. Peel, halve, and remove the root/tip of the onion. Thinly slice the red onion on your mandoline to get paper thin slices, no thicker than 1/8″. Transfer the onion to a fine mesh strainer. Then, turn your attention to the brine: pour out 1/2 cup of boiling water and add the sugar, salt, and red wine vinegar. You want to use hot water to make the salt and sugar easily dissolve into the brine. Set it aside – you can also make a big batch of this brine, it’ll work cold from the fridge! When everything is prepared, slowly pour the boiling water over the red onions (do this over your sink). Then, transfer the onions to a quart container and pour the brine over the onions, just until they’re covered. Mix the onions a few times and set them in the refrigerator. They’ll be totally ready to go after 1 hour, but will continue to take on color and flavor for the next 24 hours. After a day, these onions will be a bright shade of pink and will keep in the refrigerator for a month.
Creator’s Notes: These onions are a foil to basically any dish. I like to put them over our BBQ Chicken Pizza, on top of salads, or even straight from the container. The procedure can also be infinitely adapted – at the restaurant, we opt for thick 1/2″ slices. Instead of doing the boiling water pour-over, we use a sous-vide machine and cook thicker slices for 30 minutes at 160F. Because this isn’t something we’d expect you to have on hand, you can always blanch the onions for a few minutes in boiling water and shock them in ice water when they’re floppy if you’re trying to use them in a more substantial way. One other note: taste your brine! It should be sweet, salty, and bright. If you’re finding the brine flat, add more salt to taste.