Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pickle Me This!

Ciao Amici!
Che la sono facendo oggi? Per me, scrivo il BLOG!

Yesterday, I whipped up a veritable smorgasbord of delicacies! Bore levels were high, so I set off to the store for some red onions. I have been wanting to make pickled red onions since last summer, when I worked at Columbia City Bakery. On our breaks, we would have the most delicious sannies made with a CCB roasted potato roll, chipotle mayonnaise, thinly sliced red onions, red bell peppers, turkey, and PICKLED RED ONIONS! By the time we were able to take a break, I was so ravenous the sandwich barely lasted 1 minute in my hand.
The pickled onions at CCB were made simply with red wine vinegar and sugar, which I might try next time. The recipe I chose to adapt today is from one of my favorite fancy blogs;
Pickle Me (Nelle) Onions
4 Red Onions, peeled and sliced thinly on a mandolin
3/4 C Sugar
3 C White Vinegar
red pepper flakes
cinnamon stick
4 garlic cloves, smashed
black and white peppercorns (OMG wouldn't PINK peppercorns be so good in here?!)
fennel seeds
whole cloves
3 bay leaves

Combine the sugar, vinegar, and aromatics in a non reactive pot and bring to a boil. Add in onions. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat and cool.
These will keep for months in the fridge. Think of the possibilities… revel in the hot pink color and lifeless shape…then taste!

Now, you may use these hot pink lovelies on almost anything! Great with meats of all kinds, turkey sandwiches of course, and salads! I chose to recreate a fantastic salad I ate a lot of in Italy both when I studied there in college and while in Tuscany last summer with my mom.

Insalata con Tonno
As MANY know, Italians prefer to use oil packed tuna, not watery dry tuna. Last Christmas, I received a gift of said oil packed tuna in my stocking! I think Santa Claus is actually Pat McCarthy from DeLaurenti. The tuna that I used was actually locally troll caught albacore, to be precise.

Todd actually quizzed me in his typical fashion about what trolling was;
Nelle….do you even KNOW what troll caught means?
My dad used to take us fishing all the time when we were little and we would troll for salmon on our sailboat sometimes.
Take THAT, Todd.

Um, sorry you had to see that.
Back to the insalata!

Simply dressed with an anchovy caesar-like vinaigrette, I started with romaine and radicchio and added some sweet cherry tomatoes, tuna, and pickled onions. Finished off with a spritz of lemon, crackle of pepper, and a drizzle of fine olive oil….Buonissima!


  1. Todd, do you even know what an Alkalizer is?!

  2. You did not mention the tears? Were there many? Are onion goggles needed?

  3. No tears! I think my contacts provide an essential barrier. Though I did read that cutting the onions near the stove and turning on the gas range can help reduce the gasses from the onions. Try that or turn the exhaust fan on?

  4. Hot Lemon Water is an Alkalizer. Thanks Adam, I mean Ajax...isn't that some sort of cleaning product?