These sweet, salty, and tangy pickled onions are the perfect accompaniment to braised, slow-roasted, or smoked meats. Use them in tacos, burritos, fajitas, or sandwiches.
Why It Works
- Par-cooking the onions in water softens them while allowing you to keep the bright, fresh flavor of the citrus juice uncooked.
- Using a combination of grapefruit, lime, and orange juice replicates some of the floral, bitter aroma of Seville oranges if they are unavailable.
- Yield:Makes about 2 cups pickled red onions
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:2 hours 10 minutes
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 15 whole black peppercorns
- 15 whole allspice berries
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup juice from 1 grapefruit (2 1/2 ounces; 80ml) (see note)
- 1/3 cup juice from 1 to 2 oranges (2 1/2 ounces; 80ml) (see note)
- 1/3 cup juice from 4 to 5 limes (2 1/2 ounces; 80ml) (see note), plus a little extra just in case
Place onion, peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, drain carefully, and transfer onions to a sealable container, such as a Mason jar.
Add grapefruit, orange, and lime juice. Onions should be submerged at this point; if they aren't, top off with extra lime juice. Stir to combine, season to taste with salt (they should be quite salty—use about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon of table salt), cover, and refrigerate until color deepens, about 2 hours. Onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Do not eat peppercorns, allspice berries, or bay leaves.