Most people I know who regularly pickle and can their veggies are those who have abundant gardens or a fondness for specific goods (dill pickles, kimchi, etc.). I've never had a reason or a desire to go through with the whole process, but a decent amateur attempt at refrigerator pickling keeps the process easy. No specific equipment or jars are required, and it is quick enough to do in small batches.
In an attempt to reconstruct one of my favorite sandwiches (future post!) from a campus café, I made pickled yellow onions. These onions are sweet and very tangy, and would go great with sandwiches, hot dogs, tacos, and salads.
Based on the seasonings I had on hand, I adapted a recipe for pickled red onions. You can also adapt this based on what spices you have...I also added some garlic last minute, and I think I'll do peppercorns next time, too.
Yield: 16 oz jar of pickled onions
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 5 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil (pot should be big enough to hold the onion pieces and cover with water). Meanwhile, halve and slice the onion into thin strips.
Blanch the onions by boiling them for two minutes, then draining in a colander and rinsing under cold water.Meanwhile, bring the other ingredients to boil in a small saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, bring the temperature down to low and simmer for five minutes.
Add the onions to the vinegar mixture and steep for one minute.Transfer to a glass jar (I used a pint-sized canning jar). Let cool, and store in the refrigerator (will keep for several weeks). I tasted mine after letting it sit overnight, and it was ready to go!
There was a complete lack of Digby photobombing this recipe shoot. I'm not sure he had much interest in pickled onions (onions are really bad for dogs, but I doubt he knows that!), so for this recipe's obligatory-Digby-photo, I'll show you what he was doing instead of scoping out the kitchen: