Well, Danielle did it again: last Friday she brought me a bag of red onions and beets. I wasn't complaining :)
Although the beets are still sitting in my kitchen, I knew right away what I would do with the red onions: Citrus-Pickled Onions from Joe Yonan's Serve Yourself cookbook.
This is the second recipe I'm making from Joe's book; the first one was Pistachio Butter Cookies, and they were a huge success: I was confident the recipe for pickled onions would be as good.
This was not my first time making pickled onions: months ago I made up a simple recipe for pickled red onions inspired by Bobby Flay and loved them.
Joe's recipe, however is a bit more sophisticated: after all, he is in charge of Washington Post's Food Section (and Travel Section!).
1 banana chile or jalapneo chile (I used a green jalapeno chile)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (I used Balsamico Blanco instead)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (I left this out)
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 bay leaves
Directions (copied directly from the book)
1. Char the chile by holding it with tongs directly over the open flame of a gas burner, turning a few times, until the skin is lightly charred, 3 to 6 minutes. (If you don't have a gas stove, you can do this under the broiler.) Slash open the chile.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the citrus with the vinegar, black pepper, allspice, and salt, and mix well. Add the red onion slices, bay leaves, and chile and toss to combine.
3. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours. Transfer to alarge glass jar, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Let me tell you: even if you live by yourself, this is not going to last for 2 weeks. I've already added these onions to a coconut lentil soup to spice it up (recipe later this week) and added them to a baguette smothered with mayonnaise, black beans and roasted red pepper. In the past I've made an Arugula, Avocado, Feta & Pickled Onion Salad: basically, the possibilities are endless.
A few words about this recipe: it's ridiculously simple: squeeze juice, char a chile, slice onions, mix, wait, enjoy. The charred chile packs a bit of heat: my lips were on fire, but it was a good type of a fire to experience. I suggest you just go ahead and double the recipe, since I only used 1/2 of a grapefruit and 1/2 of an orange for a single recipe.
I can't wait to hear what you make with pickled red onions, but in the meantime, here are a few other things you can easily pickle at home: pickled watermelon and pickled watermelon radishes.
Hope you are enjoying this Labor Day! I'm off to the kitchen to make turkey meatloaf with feta and roasted red peppers: more on that later.