Zuni Café’s Red Onion Pickles
At San Francisco’s Zuni Café, these crisp, bright pink onion rings are served with the hamburger, but they are also delicious paired with charcuterie, pâtés, cheese platters and smoked fish. Easy to make and wonderful to have on hand, the pickles keep indefinitely in the refrigerator.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 3cups distilled white vinegar
- 1 ½cups granulated sugar
- 1(3-inch) cinnamon stick, broken
- A few cloves
- A few allspice berries
- 1dried red chile
- 1star anise pod (optional)
- 2bay leaves
- A few black peppercorns
- 1pound firm red onions (about 2 medium)
Step 1Make the brine: Combine vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries, chile, star anise, bay leaves and peppercorns in a 4-quart (or larger) nonreactive pot at least 10 inches in diameter. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Cover pot, turn off heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
Step 2Peel the onions, trim ends and slice crosswise into 3/8-inch thick slices. Separate into rings, discarding any green centers or leathery outer rings.
Step 3Bring the brine back to a boil. Add onions and turn off heat. Stir with a wooden spoon to submerge onions. Leave to steep, covered, until mixture cools.
Step 4Transfer onions and brine to pint jars and refrigerate for at least a day before serving.