I’ve never been fan of raw onions. The smell, the lingering flavour after eating them – and much like good old garlic – it’s noticeable when someone else has been eating them.
Give me cooked onions any day.
Another way I get onions into my life is by pickling them. Most of the harshness has been erased or mellowed, they don’t stink you up and the sharp zing they take on from the brine lends to so many foods. Sandwiches, burgers, spicy food, even on a ploughman’s lunch. It’s kind of endless.
Any variety of onion can be pickled, but the good old red onion would have to be the most attractive. I mean, look at that colour! All natural, although you could sneak in a small piece of raw beetroot for an even more intense pink.
The spices that go into the brine can be mixed up to whatever you like. For this particular batch I simply used black peppercorns, fennel and cumin seeds. Bay leaf goes well, dried herbs, even chilli.
As for the vinegar, something light in colour is best as the colour of the onions is retained. Just not the el cheapo white vinegar that’s way too harsh in flavour. Apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, even Chinese rice vinegar works.
Recipes where I’ve used these onions –