Bread and Butter Pickled Onions

Last year, our search for methods of preserving onions led us to pickling.  We didn’t post anything about it at the time because we really weren’t sure how they would turn out.  Now, it’s a year later and last year’s batch was good enough that we find ourselves doing it again.

Bread and Butter pickle recipes often call for onions.  We figured we’d try them without the cucumber.

Our recipe is adapted from a traditional Bread and Butter pickle recipe called Bread ‘n Butter from Pickles and Relishes: From Apples to Zucchinis, 150 recipes for preserving the harvest, which was in turn adapted from a number of sources.  The recipe printed there does note that the brine works well for onions alone, but we had to adapt the measures to account for that change, and also reduced the amount of bell pepper called for, along with a few other small changes simply made because of preference.

It goes as follows:

  • 16 cups of sliced onions (sliced with a food processor’s slicing blade works very well)
  • 1 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup pickling salt
  • 3 trays of ice cubes
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

Combine the onions, pepper, garlic, and salt in a non-reactive bowl or container.  Add ice.  Mix well and let stand for 3 hours.

Drain the vegetables and combine them in a non-reactive pot with the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.

Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Seal and process in water-bath or steam canner for 10 minutes.

This recipe yields about 6 pint plus some leftover brine.

These pickles are good on the occasional burger, or on a hotdog in lieu of sauerkraut.  The main way we’ve enjoyed them has been over rice, with a fried egg and some soy sauce.

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