Lemon Pickled Red Onions – A beautiful and delicious condiment that takes less than 10 minutes to throw together. Perfect on everything!
Do believe in magic?
No? Have you ever made pickled red onions? There’s a transformation that occurs when red onions are drenched with vinegar (and lemon juice, in this recipe) that is nothing short of amazing. Already quite lovely on their own, with a deep purplish red exterior and snowy white inside, red onions metamorphosize into a brilliant hue of magenta/pink when pickled. And the the longer they hang out in the vinegar/lemon juice bath, the prettier they get (if you check out the salad photo below, the onions have been pickling for 24 hours and are even more vibrant)! See what I mean – it’s magical! Try it, and I think you’ll agree.
I’ve made lots of pickled red onions in the past but have always used sliced onions. This time I decided to do something a bit different and cut the onions in a fairly small dice. I was creating a new salad (coming up) and thought they’d be really pretty. Once they were done however, I’ve found lots of other fun uses for them; tucked in paninis, sandwiches and burgers, sprinkled on pizzas, topping grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon. I love not only the delicious flavor they add to all these things but also the gorgeous presentation they provide.
I switched things up a bit this time and, as the name suggests, I used a generous amount of fresh lemon juice in addition to white wine vinegar. The lemon juice adds a unique mild flavor and delicious freshness to the onions in contrast to most pickled red onions which use just vinegar for the brine.
Go ahead and throw together a batch of these magic onions. You’ll be all set for the Lemon Oregano Grilled Chicken and Fresh Corn Salad (below) coming up soon! You’ll find a zillion ways to use them and if, by chance, the jar’s empty before the salad post arrives in your inbox, no worries! They take less than 10 minutes to throw together, so you can make another batch lickety-split!
Okay, I admit, I do cheat a bit. I use my Vidalia Chop Wizard to dice the onions in this recipe. I can have two onions cut in quarter-inch dice in almost less time than you can say Lemon Pickled Red Onions! This little contraption is worth it’s weight in gold – I use mine all the time for soups, salads, salsas relishes…
- 2 medium red onions, peeled and cut in ¼-inch dice*
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2-3 thin slices of lemon, halved
- ¼ cup water
- Place a medium-size fine mesh colander in the sink.
- Heat 4 cups of water to boiling in the microwave on high power, about 5-6 minutes. Carefully add onions to the hot water. After 15 seconds, pour onions into the colander to drain.
- Transfer onion and lemon slices to a jar (or several jars) that will contain the onions. You want the onions to fill the jar(s) to the brim, but don’t pack them in.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, salt, in a medium size microwave-safe bowl. Stir, then cook on high for three minutes. Remove from microwave, add fresh lemon juice and stir to make sure all of the sugar and salt is dissolved.
- Pour hot solution over the onions. Add enough water to bring liquid level to the top of the jar(s). Watch the beautiful color transformation begin to take place!! Color change will continue for the next 12 hours.
- Cover the jar and allow to cool for 30 minutes then refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours before eating. This will allow flavors to meld. Onions will keep well in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.