Red Hot Onions

Red Hot Onions- Putting Up with ErinRed Hot Onions- Putting Up with Erin

“Erin, can you teach me how to pickle?!” Music to my freaking ears! Last weekend, my very first best friend paid me and the Lil’ house a 6 day visit. Albeit not much privacy (“it’s not like I haven’t seen your butt before”), the visit was awesome. A lot of yoga, a lot of booze, and a whole lot of rain. Perfectly timed with her visit, we tried not to let hurricane Joaquin ruin our weekend fun. As we were stuck inside for most of the time, we figured Sunday was fit for an impromptu pickling session. Using a couple pounds of red onions acquired from Hurtgen Meadows Farm in Hillsborough, NC, fresh tarragon from Maple Spring Gardens, and a habanero peppers from Four Leaf Farm we put up these beautifully colored red hot onion pickles.

Not only was Donica a great pupil, but her enthusiasm for pickle fixin’s was through the roof. While there wasn’t a test, she was taking down notes of my little canning tricks. What I love most about pickled red onions (aside from their color) is their versatility. They go good atop almost anything: eggs… rice… sandwiches… cheese… you name it. A super quick and super easy pickle recipe. Enjoy!

Red Hot Onions- Putting Up with ErinRed Hot Onions- Putting Up with Erin

Red Hot Onions

Yield: 2 pints


  • 2 lbs red onions (peeled)
  • 1 habanero pepper (de-seeded and cut in half)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp onion seed
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp kosher/sea/pickling salt
  • 16 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cup white vinegar


  1. Thinly slice onions (I used a mandolin set on the thinest slice setting).
  2. In a non-reactive, large-sized boil water, add sliced onions and return to a boil or 5 minutes.
  3. Drain liquid off onion slices and set aside.
  4. In the same large pot, combine salt, water, and vinegar. Bring to just a boil.
  5. Divide spices, peppers, and tarragon between 2 pint jars.
  6. Add onions and cover with brine leaving ~ 1/2 inch head space. Using knife or chopstick remove air bubbles. Wipe rims, apply lids, and apply rings (finger tight).
  7. Process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool on a folded towel for at least 12 hours.
  8. Let set for a few days before consuming. Shelf stable for up to 1 year.

1 response to Red Hot Onions

  1. Links: Grape Jelly, Asian Pears, and a Winner - Food in Jars

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