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Onions are the building block of almost every classic recipe and I love them. Respect them. Appreciate them. But raw onions? I can't stand them, and I know I'm not alone on that. Sometimes when I'm building a killer salad though, I need an element that's a little crunchy and bright, and pickled red onions, well they're the answer. Pickled red onions are incredible easy to make, quite pretty, and they can legitimately elevate your salad game. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make them-
Step 1, cut the ends off the onion and peel the skin. In fact, Harris Teeter sells them already peeled, boom, just saved you a step. Now using a mandolin, carefully slice the onion into thin pieces. CAREFULLY. Here's a tip- have you ever fed an animal, like a horse or a goat? They tell you to flex your hand so that your palm is the most prominent part and they can't nibble your fingers. Same concept, hold the onion with your palm and flex so that your fingers are raised and don't get caught in the sharp blade of the mandolin. And seriously, take your time, don't look away and stop before the onion gets too small. It's not worth it. You can also use a knife and slice it thin, but there goes all the exhilaration of wondering if you're about to lose a finger. I'm only kidding, the slices just might not be as uniform or thin, but it will still be great!
Now make your pickling liquid. In a small pot combine:
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Sugar
Peppercorns, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, go nuts!
Bring to a boil for a minute to dissolve the sugar and then pour over the onion slices. Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate in a container with a tight fitting lid, liquid and all. I keep the extras in there and just remember to pick them out before serving because crunching into whole peppercorn is not a fun surprise.
Pickled red onions last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, but they go much faster in my house. As I said, these crisp, sweet and savory little gems are great on salads but also a perfect addition to tacos and sandwiches- Enjoy!
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