J: What’s the fate of that pickle?
L: Unloved. Unwanted. Thrown away out back.
J: I am into adopting things. I got me a dog. I got a little boy. I got a little girl. And now Imma get me a pickle.
L: But what are your credentials?
K: Yes, how do we know you’re a suitable guardian for a pic – OH MY GOD SHE BIT IT!
A few years ago, a friend introduced me to a great food blog called Orangette. It’s become a favorite of mine for charming writing, and diverse and pleasing foods. It’s also how I discovered Etsy, so I owe Ms. Orangette a huge debt of thanks for changing my life. But this post is not about Etsy. It’s about pickled red onions, which are just as wonderful.
I’m a pickle fanatic. Dill, bread and butter, beans, beets, peaches, you name it – I’m a fan. I’d wanted to try Molly’s recipe for a long time, but have always been daunted by the number of steps involved. (You can find the recipe on Molly’s lovely blog here.) Last weekend, I finally bought a big bag of organic red onions and rolled up my sleeves, and the results were amazing. The project suffered an early setback when I knocked over a full jar of black peppercorns. Did you know that when you vacuum black peppercorns off of a hard floor, the vacuum will act as a grinder and spray chewed-up bits of pepper at you? You didn’t? Well, now you do. You’re welcome! I do it all for science (and a pepper-perfumed apartment). Fortunately, I’d already measured out the 20 peppercorns I needed for the brine, so Project Pickle went ahead after a brief cleaning detour.
The recipe is easy, but it really does take forever. The three blanchings are necessary to get the right flavor and still keep the onions crisp, but next time I may try increasing the amount of brine by half and doing the blanchings in a single batch, instead of three batches per blanching. I love a great pickle, but I also love my time. All the steps are very simple, though, and these are basically mistake-proof. The pickles are a heavenly bright pink, sweet and spicy and crisp. They also have absolutely no salt in them, which is a huge plus. Mostly, I’m just eating them cold, straight out of the jar, but I have it on good authority that they’re also tasty in a roast beef sandwich. I’ve replaced the jar of peppercorns, and I’ll definitely be making more when this batch is gone. Yum!