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Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions ~ This sweet onion onion pickle takes just a few minutes to prepare, and you'll reap the rewards all summer long on burgers, brats, steaks, sandwiches, and tacos!
Quick pickles, or "quickles" as they are sometimes called, are my specialty. I do not enter large vats of boiling water, tweezers and sterilization jars, etc. I make my pickles the easy way, in small batches, and even without all the boil, etc., these pickles will last a long time while in the fridge. Pickling is a natural preservation method ~ when you dip food into a vinegar solution, the acidity kills the bacteria. But a pickled pickle also adds tons of flavor, making it a great technique even if you want to eat ALL ONIONS immediately. Like me.
Really any onion can be pickled, I have made RED PICKLED ONIONS that's the most beautiful magenta color, and you can also use white or yellow. But Vidalias only exist for a short season, so it makes sense to grab them while you can and use them in every possible way. For you Vidalia fans, I have many good recipes on the blog but probably the one I like the most right now is my VIDALIA CEBOLLA SLAW, if you love these onions like me, then take a look.
- Vidalias originated in the 1930s in Vidalia, Georgia.
- True Vidalia onions can only be grown in Georgia, by law, but are shipped nationwide.
- Onions are so soft and sweet, you can eat them raw like an apple. They have a characteristic squatting shape and very thin, paper-like skin.
- Onions are very sweet because the soil they grow in is unusually low in sulfur.
- The Vidalia season runs from spring to early summer, but that has recently been extended by new technology in controlled atmosphere storage.
- There are other varieties of sweet onion like Maui and Walla Walla. There are also generic sweet onions that you will find in their produce section throughout the year.
- Use them like you would any other onion, just prepare to obsess.
Technically, you can pickle only with vinegar, but it's actually the added spices that add flavor. Here in California I can collect bay leaves and pink peppercorns directly from the trees in my neighborhood, I love it. I hardly ever return from a walk around the block without something in hand. There is a Brazilian pepper on the side strip of the street, and I pick twigs when the seeds are ripe, and then let them air dry. Pink peppercorns are a completely different species from black pepper *, but they taste similar. Of course, you can use store-bought peppercorns of any color, black, white, pink, or green.
* Caution: Pink peppercorns are in the same family as cashews and pistachios and can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to nuts.
This is a quick pickle and you can use the onions in just a few hours. They will keep it in the refrigerator for at least a month. The photo below was taken while taking the onions out of the fridge a month later, they are just as nice and crispy as when I made them.
TIP: You can use cheap white vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or any other pale vinegar for these pickles, but I like to use my champagne vinegar OR Olive Oil, it has a wonderful delicate flavor. I will reuse the pickling liquid once my onions are gone so it doesn't go to waste. I can also use the leftover pickling liquid in salad dressings.
i use my mandolin cutter cut the onions thinly and evenly, and wide-mouth canning jars for storing my quick pickled Vidalia onions.
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Quick pickled Vidalia onions
Yield 1 pint jug
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 1 cup soft white vinegar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons of pink peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- Peel and very finely cut the onion. I like to use my mandolin slicer in the 1/8 inch setting. If your rings are very large, you can cut them in half.
Heat the vinegar, water and spices in a saucepan until it boils. Remove heat and add sliced onions, stirring everything to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes, then pack the onions in a wide-mouth mason jar. Pour the liquid, including the spices, over the onions. Make sure the onions are completely submerged, if you need more liquid add a little more vinegar. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate. Plan to use within a month or so.
Make it yours ~
- Use whatever type of onion you like.
- Make it spicy by adding a sliced jalapeño or 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes.
- You can can these onions by processing them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Be sure to use sterile jars, and be sure to use at least equal parts vinegar in water to maintain a safe pH. You can use all the vinegar if you want.
Don't forget to fix these Quick Pickled Vidalia onions!