It has been my experience that most condiments are severely underrated. It is my firm belief that the right mustard can absolutely elevate a sandwich, that a truly excellent vinaigrette can make you forget all about that stuff in a bottle, and that pickles (of all kinds) can transform almost anything you put them on. (And don’t even get me started on hot sauce…I am an addict of epic proportions, and my collection is growing with a speed I cannot seem to stifle.)
The door of my refrigerator is chock-full of all sorts of sauces, spreads, and other tidbits that I am constantly tossing into my meals. When I started making some of my own, I realized that many items that I made for certain purposes (to garnish a specific dish, etc.) were actually excellent paired with a variety of foods. So now, I keep a few of these useful standbys on hand at almost all times. Pickled onions are one of these. I used to make a small batch of these for tacos, but quickly found myself throwing them into salads, onto sandwiches, and adding to appetizers when guests came over (simply perfect on top homemade crackers with a smear of peppered goat cheese).
The recipe can be altered slightly to achieve different results. I’ve used different vinegars (rice, red wine, champagne, even a dash of malt), sweet onions instead of red, and have tossed alternate sprigs of herbs (rosemary, thyme, or dill) into the brine. Either way, the result is a tasty and storage-stable item that I can’t live without.
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