Serve these traditional English-style sweet-sour-spicy pickled onions as a first course with cheese, sliced or chopped in a salad, or thinly sliced and heated with a ribeye steak. Boiling the onions in salted water keeps them crisp. Let them sit a month to absorb the subtleties of the pickling liquid. Keep the spices whole to prevent clouding and sediment.

Brian Glover
Recipe by Cooking Light September 2003


Recipe Summary

16 servings (serving size: 1/4 cup)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine 1 1/2 cups water, salt, and onions in a bowl. Cover mixture and refrigerate overnight.

  • Combine 1/2 cup water, sherry vinegar, malt vinegar, cream sherry, brown sugar, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and red chile in a nonaluminum saucepan, and bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, and let stand 1 hour.

  • Drain onions. Rinse onions and pat them dry. Add onions to the vinegar mixture, and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce heat, and simmer mixture for 3 minutes. Place onions, bay leaves, and rosemary in hot jars; cover onion mixture with hot vinegar mixture, leaving 1/4-inch head space.

  • Cover jars with metal lids, and screw on the bands. Cool completely. Refrigerate onions at least 1 month before serving.

Nutrition Facts

37 calories; calories from fat 2%; fat 0.1g; mono fat 0.1g; protein 0.4g; carbohydrates 8.2g; fiber 0.1g; sodium 246mg; calcium 14mg.