It should surprise exactly zero of you to learn that when I find something I love, when I find that exact thing that’s been missing from my life all these years, I do whatever I must to make sure that I’m never left without it again. I am, of course, referring to pickled onions.
What are pickled onions? They’re onions, red or white, that have spent time soaking in vinegar. That’s it. Most recipes will also include salt and sugar, like the recipe I followed, but the vinegar is the star. Over the course of a very short period of time, the harshness of the onions will mellow out and will become crunchy and tangy and acidic, perfect as a topping for any food that’s just a little too rich or a little too plain and needs some sprucing up.
Let me cut to the chase: you boil water and vinegar with salt and sugar until the solids dissolve, let it cool, and put it in the fridge. Most recipes will tell you that you can “quick pickle” something in about half an hour, but I think it gets much better overnight.
This is entirely personal preference, but I like to slice my onion cross-wise with the grain, then chop each of those in two across the whole half of the onion. You’ll be left with a lot of small pieces that look like 90 degrees of a circle, each with multiple layers. You should try to break up the layers a little bit before you drop them in to maximize surface area access for the brine. In my opinion this leaves you with optimal-size onion pieces for throwing onto your food.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I put these on everything. They’re perfect on pork tacos (above), which is basically just a ball of fat desperately in need of some acid. They’re perfect on a turkey sandwich (left) that’s just a little bit too bland and texture-less. They’re perfect in just about any egg dish too off-set the bland creaminess with something crunchy and tart/sweet.
Pickle some onions, it will change your life.