There are things from my youth I used to love that I now will gladly do without... :::cough::: puka shells :::cough:::... and things from my youth I hated (most food) that I now cannot imagine my world without. If you have been reading Belly Laughs from the get-go then you know that I don't like pickles. That distaste for, and distrust of, anything that pickle juice has touched has deep roots for me. I hated all foods that were green in color anyhow, but the smell of dill pickle juice which spilled in the fridge that "one" time haunts me in my sleep. However, I do love other, non-cucumber pickled veg. Red onions top that list.
I love the pizzazz their pink hue adds to a laundry list of otherwise beige food. The tart acidity adds a nice pop to an array of dishes from carnitas tacos to pulled chicken sandwiches to beef sausages. And their slightly sweet, slightly spicy profile brings life to bland kale salads you've convinced yourself taste good.
This recipe is an eulogy for the likes and dislikes from childhood and teenage life that have since died. RIP Puka Shells, may you peacefully return to the sea from whence you came.
The Recipe: Pickled Red Onions
The Bits and Bobs:
1 red onion, halved and slice thin
1 garlic clove, smashed but left whole
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Put a kettle full of 3-4 cups of water on to boil. Slice onions thin and move to a colander or sieve. Pour boiling water over top of the onions slowly and allow to drain.
In the jar or other container you plan to store the onions, mix together the vinegar, the salt, sugar, and garlic until the sugar has dissolved. Add the par-boiled onions and stir to cover in the vinegar mix. Allow to pickle for at least 30 minutes, but better if left for at least a few hours before you serve.
Best used in the first week.