Pickled Onions & Garlic

I made Chef Jeremy Fox's dill pickles from his cookbook, On Vegetables, and found myself fishing around for every last bit of onion well before the cucumbers were used up. Constraints are the mother of adaptation so Pickled Onions & Garlic were born.

The brine is almost the same as Chef Fox's pickles with a small nod to a favorite Gjelina recipe. I use this vinegary condiment for dressings, sandwiches, and cucumber salads. Pickled Onions & Garlic are quick to make and can stay in the fridge for a yet-to-be-determined number of weeks since I always polish off the jar before things go south. My childhood moniker is alive and well. Hey, Pickle.

Pickled Onions & Garlic are part of my Recipe Card series and are a building block for Smashed Cucumbers With Feta & Dill Pickle Dressing. Posts are shorter in nature and offer an opportunity to feature simpler dishes that I plan to reference down the road.

Farmers | Artisans

I make an effort to source my food from California artisans with a special focus on the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Below is a list of the folks who contributed to this dish.

Onions at The Garden Of - Santa Monica Farmers Market


Ingredients (Adapted from On Vegetables)

  • 2 medium onions (1 1/2 pounds/570 grams approximate total weight before prep ), sliced thin on a mandoline
  • 1 small/medium head garlic, cloves sliced thin on a mandoline
  • 2 chiles de árbol
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) yellow mustard seed
  • 9 1/2 ounces white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 ounces sauvignon blanc or champagne vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons (7 grams) Diamond kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons (20 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 7 ounces (not quite 1 cup) filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh dill


  • Prepare your onions and garlic then set aside.
  • Grab your jar and a large bowl (preferably glass or other non-porous material, i.e. not plastic) and set aside.
  • In a small nonreactive pot, combine the chiles de árbol, vinegars, salt, sugar, pepper, and water. Over medium heat, warm the liquid until it just barely comes to a simmer. Turn the heat off and stir so that the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
  • Combine everything in the large bowl, mix thoroughly, then transfer to the jar. Gloves are helpful since the vinegar and chiles can irritate the skin. Note: I find I can get more onions into the jar when I combine them with the hot brine in advance.
  • Seal and refrigerate.
  • The pickled onions are best after they set up for a few days but can be used within 24 hours. The flavor improves with time.

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