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I was sitting outside Umu Café the other night enjoying one of their vegetarian platters, and realising again what a fine thing a pickled onion is…
They are crisp, sweet, tangy, subtly-spiced – just delicious. The ones at Umu are pink too, which makes them very attractive on a platter.
My crop of red onions in the veggie garden is not far off being ready to harvest, so I thought I would give pickled onions a try. Pickling is such a great way to preserve the abundance of summer veggies in the garden and here are some thoughts about how you might go about it…
Traditional pickling recipes use whole onions which are soaked in brine for 24 hours, drained and then put into jars with vinegar, but there are lots of recipes online these days that are ‘quick’ recipes so I thought I would test them out and come up with my own variation.
Quick Pickled Onions
Ingredients
  • 4 small red onions
  • boiling water
  • 1 cup/240ml cider vinegar
  • ½ cup/120ml freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp/40g sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
Method
  1. Cut the onions in half then slice them into rings.
  2. Boil the kettle and then pour enough boiling water over the onion slices to cover them. Leave for a minute or two to blanch.
  3. Whilst that is happening, put all the other ingredients into a small pan and bring them up to a boil. Stir the mixture well, so that the salt and sugar is well-dissolved.
  4. Drain the onion slices and pack them into a glass jar (I used a half litre Agee jar). Pour the pickling mixture over them and seal the jar.
  5. Once it’s cold, put the jar in the fridge for a couple of hours. Then serve with your favourite platter ingredients. (The pickled onions should keep in the fridge for about six months.)