Pickled red onions

February 13, 2008

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Makes about 2 pints

3 cups white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1 star anise pod
1 bay leaf
5 whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 medium red onions

1. In a medium saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, bay leaf, peppercorns, and red pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

2. Cut the onions into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Separate into rings.

3. Uncover the brine and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add half the onions and press them into the liquid. Simmer for 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the onions from the brine and transfer them to a bowl to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining onions. Cool the brine in the refrigerator.

4. Add the brine to the onions. Cover and refrigerate for 1 day before serving. Or, store onions and brine in jars, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 month. Jonathan Levitt