Pickled Red Onions + a Valentine’s Challenge

For topping the sliders I served on Super Bowl Sunday, I made a quick red onion pickle. I used Thomas Keller’s recipe from Ad Hoc at Home, which is super-simple but very good, and I think it’s really all you need to do to end up with a tasty pickle. The recipe says to let the onions pickle at least 24 hours, but you can certainly eat them the same day if you don’t mind them still being somewhat onion-y. Scroll down for the recipe, which makes a lot of pickles! I usually halve it or even quarter it, because we can’t go through that many pickles in a month.

My husband has neglected to provide me with a challenge for this weekend, so I came up with one for myself. I am going to make my husband and son a chocolate cake for Valentine’s Day. This may not sound like much of a challenge, but I have never made a chocolate cake before and I do not have a great track record with baked goods. We’ll see how I do.

Pickled Red Onions

Makes about 4 cups.

  • 2 large red onions (about 1¼ pounds each)
  • 1½ cups red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Cut off the top and bottom of each onion and cut lengthwise in half. Remove and discard the outer layer. Cut a V-shaped wedge from the bottom of each half to remove the roots and the very center pieces of onion. Put the onions cut side down on the cutting board and slice lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick slices, following the nature lines on the outside of the onion. Pack the onions into a 1-quart canning jar; reserve any slices that don’t fit.

    Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions. Once the onions begin to wilt, add any remaining onion slices to the jar, gently pushing them down into the liquid to submerge them. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or for up to 1 month.


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