Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pickled Red Onions

bowl with sliced pickled onions

Before I tasted these onions, I used to think, 
"Why would anyone eat pickled red onions"?

However, once I tasted pickled red onions- I understood.
I ate them for the first time at my son and daughter in law's house. Prior to the meal, I noticed red onion slices soaking in clear liquid in cute little glass bowls. Assuming it was water,  I never gave it any thought until I bit into the first slice of red onion at the meal. Immediately, I knew there was something special about those onions, and I wasn't the only one who realized it. My sentiment echoed across the long table of diners who were also raving about the onions.

I had to ask, "what did you do to the onions?" "Oh," my daughter in law nonchalantly said, "We soaked them in white vinegar for a few hours."

Immediately, my husband expressed his dislike of white vinegar. Truthfully, I wasn't too excited about white vinegar either, but the red onion slices did take on a whole new personna after bathing in the vinegar.

They tasted sensational!  Soaking those red onions in vinegar took the smell and the bite out of the onion, and made them more flavorful  and  artistically more beautiful with hues of  bright deep pink color. I am not sure if this recipe qualifies as actually "pickled" since it doesn't contain any salt , but I call it pickled just the same since the onions taste pickled.

1 medium to large red onion, sliced thin
1 large container of white vinegar

Place slices on onion into a medium bowl. Cover the slices with vinegar and allow it to soak for at least 2 hours. Remove from vinegar and place in container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Step by Step with Pictures

red onion in slices
Slice the red onion thin

red onion slices floating in a bowl of vinegar
Place into bowl and cover with white vinegar

red onion turned pink soaking in vinegar
Allow to soak for about 2-3 hours

plate with pickled red onion slices
Remove from vinegar, drain, and serve
The next question is, how do you eat pickled red onions? Are onions good for you? You bet!

To really understand a delicacy like pickled red onions, we have to understand that there are many variations to making pickled red onions. You can substitute vinegars: white, balsamic, apple cider. Some ethnic groups add a sugar, hot peppers or spices.

Almost every ethnic group has its own variation of pickled red onions.
  • Germany- serves pickled onion with hot German potato salad
  • Russia- pickled herring with pickled red onion slices
  • India- as a condiment with daals

Use pickled onions like you would a pickle-. Use your imagination.

  • Layer in a sandwich
  • add to a tossed salad
  • chop in egg salad or potato salad
  • garnish atop black bean soup
  • serve with goat cheese, caramelized onions and gluten free crackers
  • eat as a topping on gluten free pizza
  • cover a vegetarian burger.
  • OH! There is more..why not slice a tomato, add a slice of mozzarella cheese, a piece of fresh basil, and a thick slice of pickled red onion. Eat on the side of scrambled eggs. The possibilities are endless.

Are onions good for you? You bet!

  • Lots of immune building antioxidants, quercitin, Vitamin C, chromium to balance blood sugar, fiber , manganese and molybdenum, Vitamin B-6, folate and potassium. 60 calories a cup.

How do you like to eat your pickled onions?
So glad you stopped by - please leave me a comment..


  1. THANK YOU! I got two *huge* red onions in our organic CSA loot a short while ago. They're so big I haven't touched them yet... But this seems the perfect recipe! Going to try it soon :)

  2. Your Pickled Red Onions look awesome! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen


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