My very first cooking job out of culinary school was at a lovely Italian restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Chef was thoughtful and straightforward with his interpretation of Italian classics and lucky for me, gentle with his cooks. I was ready to absorb everything I could, and as all young cooks do, I showed up on my first day with a small blank notebook ready to start collecting as many recipes as I could. Assigned to the cold appetizer station, those were the days I filled my notebook with recipes of flatbread dough, gremolata, vinaigrettes, poaching liquids, aiolis, curing ratios for fish, etc. Many recipes had just a handful of ingredients.
I don’t remember exactly when I first learned about this quick pickle technique, but this is a perfect example of one of those components that once learned will stay with you for a lifetime, adding brightness to a variety of dishes. You can swap out the red wine vinegar for a different vinegar like sherry, champagne, or apple cider, change up the spices and even the sugar. I recently added these pickled onions to a salad of broccoli, raisins, blue cheese, and crunchy butter croutons. The possibilities for variations and use are endless.
1 Red Onion (sliced)
1 c. Red Wine Vinegar
½ c. Water
½ c. Brown sugar
1 t. Salt
1 t. Smoked paprika
1.) Put sliced onions in a glass jar (or other non-reactive container)
2.) In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt and paprika to a boil.
3.) Pour over onions.
4.) Use a spoon to submerge the onions in the pickling liquid.
5.) Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight for at least three hours.
Component in Action
- Add to salads
- Use as a condiment on burgers and sandwiches
- Serve with cheese and charcuterie
- Topping for Veggies and Fish Tacos