When I was a line cook, my boss, the venerable Michael Wild, had a pet peeve about raw onions. He hated them and could taste them in anything. If he detected a hint of raw onion in a dish, I could count on a tutorial about the indelicate and disagreeable nature of raw onions. I would mentally roll my eyes–I had heard it before, and I thought he was a wee bit over sensitive.
Well as usually happens when cocky, bull-headed young people grow up, I’ve come to see the err of my ways. I’m not sure if it is because I am older, or my palette is more mature, or because I actually care if I have offensively disgusting breath, but I can’t really deal with raw onions now. I love onions though, so these pickled onions are the perfect solution. They can go, as they did at the BayWolf, on duck liver flan, or on many other things–smoked salmon, terrines, salads, sandwiches, tacos. They are quick and easy to make, keep forever in the refrigerator and are an amazing psychedelic pink color.
adapted from David Leibovitz
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 TBLS. sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 allspice berries
- 1 clove
- 3 black peppercorns
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- In a saucepan, mix together vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bay, allspice, clove and peppercorn. Bring to a boil and turn off. Taste. You may like more sugar, salt or spice. Adjust as necessary.
- Pour hot mixture over onion slices. Let cool.
- Will keep in refrigerator for…months.