The One Ingredient That Gives Pickled Onions A More Vibrant Red Color

Red onions have a big impact on salads, burgers, and pizzas when it comes to flavor. They become even more flavorful when subjected to a pickling process, which can easily be accomplished at home with just a few ingredients. Keep in mind that there are methods for pickling just about any veggie, including red onions. And if you feel compelled to make your very own pickled red onions, using a key ingredient ensures a visually dazzling outcome.

While you can make pickled onions using distilled or apple cider vinegar (and here's a primer on the different types of vinegar and how to use them), using red wine vinegar deepens the natural hue of the onions to an alluring shade of reddish-pink. As for flavor, red wine vinegar features pleasing fruity notes in addition to its potent tanginess. That makes for a more interesting flavor overall, while the deep red shade of the vinegar increases the color intensity of the end result.

Tips for pickling onions in red wine vinegar

Unlike conventional pickling, which requires a canning step, quick pickling is much faster and less involved than the traditional method. As a result, you'll need to help the onions soak up as much vinegary goodness as possible in a shortened period of time. You can do so by softening the vegetable with a mix of salt and sugar prior to soaking it. When you perform this important step, your pickled onions can be ready in as little as five minutes.

As for how much red wine vinegar to use, aim for two-thirds of a cup when pickling one large red onion. Some recipes also recommend using the same amount of water as red wine vinegar to ensure the chopped red onion is completely covered in liquid. Remember that quick pickled onions must be stored in the refrigerator and typically last about three weeks. With all the great ways to use this tasty ingredient, it's likely that your homemade pickled onions won't last nearly as long.

How to use pickled red onions in recipes

The convenience and delicious flavor of red wine vinegar pickled onions means this preparation is likely to become a staple of your pantry. Fortunately, pickled onions have a ton of uses in the kitchen. If you're seeking tasty ways to upgrade your tuna melt, consider adding some pickled onions to the sandwich. The tangy, red wine vinegar-infused flavor will perfectly complement the melty cheese and the richness of the tuna. They're also a tasty taco filling, as well as being an ideal topping for burgers, especially when paired with a pungent cheese like Stilton.

Along with flavor, pickled red onions are also brimming with aesthetic appeal. Accordingly, they're the perfect addition to charcuterie boards, where presentation is just as important as flavor when entertaining friends and loved ones. They're equally stunning in salads, especially when combined with visually appealing ingredients like arugula, strawberries, and avocado. If it's true that you eat with your eyes first, you'll never go hungry with vibrant and flavorful pickled red onions.