This is a Jamie special coming to you today. I was busy cleaning up from a big photographing operation, I turned around and these babies were made and had to simply be left in the fridge. They are so so god damn easy to make, and they are PINK! What could be prettier?
Pickling is the process of preserving or expanding the lifespan of food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in vinegar. (I lifted that straight of Wikipedia I'm not even going to lie!) but basically plop a load of veg into a jar with some vinegar or salt water and you've got a pickle. But what makes a great pickle, some sweetness, some tang, and a touch of salt. Oh and a pretty colour like PINK aint so bad either .
Pickling is one of the oldest forms of preserving food, potentially as old as 5000 years, humans have been at this pickling game for a long time. I have previously never pickled my own food, but it is something I'm looking to get into. This was a quick pickle as we used vinegar. I'm hoping to create a pickle soon using brine, but these take longer to mature before they can be eaten. I would suggest leaving this pickle for at least 8 hours for the lovely pink colour to develop.
So once you've made your pickle what to do with it, other than eat it straight out the jar I mean. Well it goes great on tacos, or a bowl of rice and beans like I have below. You could also use it in a bento box, I recently took a workshop at Whole Foods with Sara from Shisodelicious, where we learnt about bento boxes, (more on that to come in it's own blog post) but this pickled onion would fit right in amongst bento box regulars. You can store the pickled onions in the fridge for up to a week. So you really can go wild on working out what else you can eat them with, I reckon paired with a nice vegan cheese they would go down a treat too!
Ok so let's talk about that pink colour. There's a bit of science behind that. Anthocyanin is the phytochemical in the onion's skin that gives it that bright red colour. Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant and helps in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. anthocyanin is also a natural pH indicator. The vinegar the onion is immersed in is acidic so the anthocyanin bleeds out of the onions and turns the vibrant pink we see here. If you want to see more on food related, anthocyanin magic click here.
If you too feel like impressing your friends with beautifully pink food, I mean who doesn't, simply shove some stuff in a jar according to the instructions below and away you go!
1 red onion
120ml white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
the juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon agave syrup
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns
1) slice your onions into fine rings and place into the jar.
2) Add the peppercorns, salt, agave and lime juice and vinegar to the jar.
3) Add the water. If the liquid doesn't fully cover the onions, add more water until it does.
4) Leave in the fridge for at least 8 hours and then enjoy that tangy pickley goodness.