Quick Citrus Pickled Red Onions

May 19th, 2008  |  Published in All, Fantastic Fruits, Farming, Gardening, & Food Preservation, Most Popular, Onion, Orange, Preserves and Pickles, Veritable Vegetables  |  12 Comments

Citrus Pickled Red Onions

Quick Citrus Pickled Red Onions
from Chow.com
Makes 3-4 cups

2 medium red onions, cored, sliced into very thin (1/16 inch) rounds
1/2 c. lime juice (fresh squeezed is preferable – about 4-5 limes)
1 c. orange juice (fresh squeezed is preferable – about 5 oranges)
1 t. sugar
1 T. pickling salt (any non iodized salt will do, such as sea salt)
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, very thinly sliced

Bring a medium sized pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop in onions and blanch for 15 seconds. Drain onions in a colander.

Mix the lime juice, orange juice, sugar, and salt in a non-reactive bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add onion slices and slivered jalapeño and stir to coat. Refrigerate onions for at least 3 hours before serving. Store extra pickled onions in an airtight glass or tupperware container for up to two weeks.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It has been HOT around here lately. The thermometer climbed to well over 90 degrees four of the last five days, and reached over 100 last thursday. It was hard to choose which was worse–being outside under the hot sun, sitting at work with a semi-functional air conditioner and no windows, or sitting in my tiny apartment that acts like a convection oven with its southern facing windows… as a Seattle native, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able adjust to any temperature above about 78 degrees…

But the saturday farmer’s market went on, heat and all, and I made my weekly visit. With the hot weather, my mind turned to cool, raw, refreshing foods while I wandered through the market, and I found myself picking up what normally are my mid-summer go-to’s: cucumbers, whitefish, peaches, spicy peppers, cherries, basil, and cilantro to name a few. Once home, I wanted to make foods that required as little cooking as possible, things with a crunch or a refreshing chill, things that required very little active time, since standing in a hot kitchen was the opposite of what I wanted to be doing that hot afternoon. One of the things I settled on was citrus pickled red onions.

Besides fitting all of the above criteria (very little cooking, refreshing, extremely simple), these onions taste great! They’re pungent, a little sour, a little sweet, a little salty, and a little spicy — basically heaven in a jar. They’re also quite versatile. Since I made these on saturday, I’ve used them with nearly every meal I’ve eaten besides breakfast. Some things I’ve done so far are:

- topping for Hawaiian-Style Braised Pork (I shredded the pork instead of leaving it in cubes)
- mixed into brown rice with cilantro, as a side dish for a white fish stir fry (a.k.a. was- supposed- to- be- ceviche- but- I- couldn’t- handle- raw- fish- after- Bay- to- Breakers)
- sauteed with sliced pasilla/padron peppers

Some things I intend to do:

- mixed into white fish and jalepeño ceviche
- minced with cilantro and a little sour cream as a dip for tortilla chips
- added as a garnish to a gin gimlet

One thing you’ll notice is the spectacular hot pink color of these pickled onions. At first I was a bit put off by the shocking color since it makes them look a little artificial, but I soon got over it by picturing some of nature’s other brightly colored vegetables, namely… BEETS! Sometimes things in nature just have spectacular colors and we might as well embrace it as one of the myriad spices of life.

Anyhow, if this past week is any indication, chances are we’re in for a long hot summer… what are your favorite summer dishes? most of mine are variations on cucumber salad…

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  1. maybelles mom says:

    May 20th, 2008at 3:54 pm(#)

    this is my all time favorite–i am it to everything. I like it on top of chicken soup.

  2. Jen says:

    May 20th, 2008at 9:08 pm(#)

    maybelles mom- whoa! i would not have thought of that, but I was considering making homemade chicken stock (a natural precursor to chicken soup) this weekend… if I end up making it, I’ll definitely give it a try

  3. White On Rice Couple says:

    May 21st, 2008at 6:31 am(#)

    This is heaven in a jar: sour, salty, sweet and spicy. This is the type of pickles that I would love to eat with hot rice! In Viet cuisine, pickles are always common at the dinner table.
    I’ll try this one for sure!

  4. Jen says:

    May 21st, 2008at 7:58 am(#)

    White On Rice Couple – they are really tasty, and so quick! The pickling book I have (The Joy of Pickling) has quite a few recipes for quick asian-style pickles using soy, rice vinegar, and even miso — carrots, celery, daikon, onions, garlic, and more — hopefully this summer I’ll get around to making some and write about them here.

  5. elra says:

    May 21st, 2008at 4:24 pm(#)

    If you know me being Balinese, I will added chopped Jalapeno ….. serve on top of grilled fish!HMMMM, I am drooling over my keyboard!

    Jen, I don’t realize that we live in the same neighborhood (LAH)? Do you go to downtown farmer’s market on thursday or you go on Saturday in California Ave?

  6. Jen says:

    May 21st, 2008at 6:30 pm(#)

    Elra – I didn’t realize we were neighbors! I really like the downtown Palo Alto farmer’s market on Saturdays (on Hamilton), though during the winter I either go to the California Ave market, Menlo Park, or sometimes even Mountain View. I like the Los Altos market mostly because Hidden Villa sells pastured pork there, which is really hard to find. Do you know about the self-service farm stand at Robleda & Dori? during the summer he has beautiful tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs… definitely worth checking out!

  7. Tash OYSTERBLOGGER says:

    May 22nd, 2008at 7:33 am(#)

    thank you thank you thank you for your food talents. I am getting inspired again! I commented on the summer squash and roasted tomato timbales. You are so on my blog roll.

  8. Jen says:

    May 22nd, 2008at 9:03 am(#)

    Tash – Thank YOU! what a nice compliment!

  9. The Purloined Letter says:

    May 22nd, 2008at 12:21 pm(#)

    Oh, how delicious that looks! Thrilled to have found your blog. (And you are welcome to use the dandelion post for the carnival, too.)

  10. elra says:

    May 23rd, 2008at 5:37 am(#)

    I also don’t go that often to the one in downtown, because I feel like they charge us more than any other places. Do you think they are more expensive because of the location? My friend told me they always go to downtown Mountain View, although they live in Palo Alto, close to down town. They said its cheaper!!!!!!!
    I thought about inviting you to go to downtown farmers market yesterday. Then I remember that you are working during the week. I think they close at 8pm? I suppose I can meet you there after work?

    About the vegetable stand on Dori Ln, I know excatly where that is, I go there for veggy that I don’t grow in my veggy garden.

  11. Farmers Market Fare 6 : Eat. Drink. Better. says:

    May 28th, 2008at 5:42 am(#)

    [...] at Modern Beet is making Quick Pickled Citrus Red Onions this week. Sounds [...]

  12. Hot and Spicy Pickled Eggs | Modern Beet says:

    June 12th, 2008at 9:04 pm(#)

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