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Joe Yonan's Citrus-Pickled Onions Recipe

Remember when a friend at work gave me a bunch of large onions and I made onion jam?

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!).

Citrus-Pickled Onions

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.


Susan Lindquist said...

Haha! Nice to see so many other people canning and preserving the 'gifts of the season' - I've posted the pickled beets and today made bread and butter pickles ... on to the tomato salsa. The shelves will be stocked this winter! Hope yours are filling up too!

Amy said...

Cutting the onion against the grain results in a more "diced onion" flavor. If you cut parallel to the poles the flavor of your pickling liquid will come through more.

Delicious Dishings said...

Hope you're having a fabulous Labor Day! The onions sound so easy and good. Can't wait to read about the meatloaf!

sally said...

I agree--the the possibilities seem endless for what you can do with these citrus-pickled onions. They look fantastic!

Meister @ The Nervous Cook said...

Pretty much you had me at "pickled." I'm crazy about pickled anything, and I'm also crazy about onions -- this must be my dream come true!

Sarah said...

This is super inspiring...I bet they would go perfectly on a fish taco!

The Duo Dishes said...

This was a weekend of bbq's, and those onions would've been a nice touch to simple grilled sausage or a burger. Or as a topping for pulled pork. You could even do a fun fish taco covered with those guys. You can have a lot of fun with them.

Tasha said...

How do I get to become friends with produce-gifting people? I'd love someone to bring me a bag of beets and onions! These pickled onions sound delicious and I'll be looking forward to your coconut lentil soup recipe.

Jimbo said...

I'll bet these would be good with Vidalia onions or even a mix of Vidalia and red. Just curious, why no alspice?

Sara said...

YUM, these look so good! I love pickled onions, but I've never made them with citrus like this before...definitely have to give it a try because it sounds amazing! Bookmarked! :)

nicole said...

these seem delicious and that they would add the perfect zing to a sandwich! weird that i don't like pickles, but i love picked things, right?