Pickled Red Onions

Rae and Noah Bernamoff's magenta-pink onions have the perfect balance of sugar and tang. At their tiny Brooklyn, New York, restaurant, Mile End Delicatessen, they serve the onions with chopped liver, but this condiment would also be delicious on a corned-beef sandwich—or any sandwich, for that matter.

Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs
makes 1 1/2 cups


  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 4 allspice berries

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

  • 2 medium red onions, sliced into thin rings


  1. In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice, bay leaves, peppercorns and mustard seeds and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  2. Layer the onion rings in a 2-cup jar or plastic container. Strain the brine into the jar and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Drain the onions and serve.

Make Ahead

The pickled onions can be refrigerated in the brine for up to 3 days.

Related Articles