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Pickled Pearl Onion
© Tina Rupp

Pickled Pearl Onions

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN 3 weeks for pickling
  • SERVINGS: 4 1/2 pint jars

An avid gardener, Marcia Kiesel loves mini vegetables and often pickles gherkins and pearl onions as gifts. Her lemon-and-clove-spiked onions are crunchier and less sweet than commercial brands. Perfect for martinis, they can also be sliced and tossed in a salad, stir-fried or tucked inside sandwiches.

  1. 11/4 pounds pearl onions, trimmed
  2. 8 cloves
  3. 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  4. Eight 1/2-inch-wide strips of lemon zest
  5. 1 1/4 cups water
  6. 1 1/4 cups white vinegar
  7. 3 tablespoons sugar
  8. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the onions over high heat for 4 minutes. Drain and let cool. When the onions are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins.
  2. Pack the onions into four 1/2-pint jars. Add 2 cloves, 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds and 2 strips of lemon zest to each jar.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the brine over the onions to cover. Let cool, then seal the jars and refrigerate the onions for at least 3 weeks.
Make Ahead The pickled onions can be refrigerated for up to 1 year.


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