In a Quick Pickle

These are definitely salad days. Today is expected to find sweltering temperatures in the high 90s and the humidity is already solidly in place. Rain this week has been enjoyed, but the weather is still not encouraging a lot of time in the kitchen, much less time with the stove. So salads it is. But before you think boring iceberg lettuce and timid tomatoes, get ready for some bold, beautiful meals! When I make a salad for dinner, it tends to look like this:

Inspired by a salad popular in the Nice region of France, it relies on the fresh crunch of beautiful produce, a tangy dressing featuring copious amounts of garlic and grainy mustard, and creative flavor layering. Everything from brined olives to crisp-tender yellow beans tossed with summer's newest red potatoes to soft-boiled eggs finds its way into this salad. But, for me, the stars on the plate are the bright pink pickled red onions. Before you think that's just too much to fuss over for a salad, let me say this.

They take about five minutes of hands-on time to make. That's right. After spending five minutes slicing the onion, tossing everything into a jar, shaking it, and setting it on the counter ... you are done. Just let it sit for as little as an hour and you'll have these lovely onions to add to a salad, tuck into a spicy taco, or nest atop a beautifully-grilled steak. It's summer's simplest condiment!

Easy Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup water

Thinly slice the red onion. Place the onion slices in a jar.

Add the remaining ingredients to the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Sit at room temperature for 1-3 hours.

  • Yields: About a cup
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes plus resting time