We've gotten a few requests for this over the last week, so...
Zuni's pickled onions are a real coup de coeur in our household. It's one of Judy Rodgers' simplest recipes, but it's truly one of our favorites. Great with charcuterie, excellent in a grilled cheese sandwich, and essential with our burgers. They're a bit tedious to make, because the recipe requires to repeat steps (three times!), but the extra effort is absolutely worth it. Trust us.
fig. a: pickled onions à la Zuni
Zuni Cafe Pickled Onions
2 medium-large red onions, peeled
3 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
a few cloves
a few allspice berries
a dried red chili
2 bay leaves
a few peppercorns
To prepare your brine, combine everything but the onions and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to infuse.
Slice onions about 3/8" thick. Separate them into rings. Bring the brine to a boil again and add about 1/3 of the onions. Bring back to a simmer, and as soon as it does, remove the onions, placing them on a baking sheet. Continue this process with the rest of the onions, then repeat the entire process twice, so that each batch of onions gets blanched a total of three times in the brine. Make sure to allow the onions to cool between each round of blanching.
The onions will turn a bright fuchsia hue and will be perfectly tender-crisp.
Place the onions in a jar with enough of their brine to cover and refrigerate. The onions will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Look at that color! Talk about perfect for St. Valentine's Day... Talk about a gift that keeps on giving. Just a thought.