One of the chefs I work with over the summer does one thing (among many others) extremely well when it comes to food. Pickle. Don't get me wrong he has many other culinary talents, extremely creative ones and I always seek him out when I am looking for advice. But really this man could pickle just about anything and it would be oh so good.
I decided I would finally give it a try myself, and while it may not be creative and adventurous as his pickling, as my first try I am giving my self a lack of creativity free pass.
What is so beautiful about pickling is how versatile it is, and who doesn't love a little versatility. First of all you can pickle just about any vegetable you have on hand, and you can also put a great deal of herbs and spices into your pickling brine. Oh an then when you have the finished pickled product it goes great on meats, fish, chicken and of course salads. SO many possibilities right!
The base of any pickling is water, vinegar, salt and sugar then it is your choice to add any flavors you want. Having the limited college fridge that I do I simply went with rosemary but you can add any hearty herbs that stand up to soaking in vinegar. Other great add ins are garlic, peppers, pepper flakes and citrus peels.
Pickled Red Onions
1 large red onion
1 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 sprigs rosemary
Thinly slice a red onion into rounds. In a large bowl combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar and rosemary. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the red onions. Let sit for an hour or more, the more time the better. Store in the fridge in the pickling liquid.