Apple-Sweetened Yellow Onions

When pickling, red onions are just as readily available as yellow ones for colorful combinations. Learn more at
I have to admit: Before I wrote The Complete Guide to Pickling, I rarely thought about pickling onions. Onions land in just about every jar of pickles I make, from Spring Asparagus Pickles and Salt-and-Vinegar Winter Squash, to canned Honeyed Bread-and-Butter Chips, to Southern-Style Pickled Shrimp. If I wanted slices of pickled onions for a sandwich, I just fished them out of one of those jars.

But part of the fun of pickling onions is that red onions are just as readily available as yellow ones, making it easy to create colorful combinations. Lime-Pickled Onions, with thinly slices of red onion immersed in lime juice, become a shocking pink. Red Onions in Wine Vinegar turn a deeper reddish hue. For Fermented Red Onions, weighing down the onion rings with a red beet doubles down on the brightness. I even use red onions, and sometimes just their skins, in other recipes for an extra shot of color.

The pickled onions I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon keep their pale, nearly translucent color, but apple cider vinegar and a little bonus sugar make them a bit sweeter than these more colorful versions.
Learn to make Apple-Sweetened Yellow Onions



Learn more about my latest work on and off the blog at
Can you believe that just 1 year ago I announced the release of my cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling? More than 6,000 copies have sold over the last year, and I’ve received such amazing feedback from readers. I’m particularly thrilled that I can continue to share some of my favorite recipes from the 125-strong collection. Thanks to Clean Plates, you can now learn more about—and how to make—my Cultured Curtido (Cabbage Slaw) recipe.
Learn to make fermented and quick curtido

Preserving Onions

Preserving onions. Get the recipes in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Until I wrote the The Complete Guide to Pickling, I rarely pickled onions on their own. I dropped slices into other pickle jars, from refrigerator zucchini to canned bread-and-butter cucumbers to fermented kimchi. They weren’t just garnish and always ended up on sandwiches or in breakfast potatoes. But I rarely devoted pantry or fridge space to jars of pickled onions.

Once I started creating just such onion-focused recipes for the cookbook, I couldn’t stop. There were so many fun variations, flavors, and uses. Now I’m simply making the book’s recipes for my own enjoyment, and if you open my fridge today—you’ll find plenty of onion pickles.
Read more about preserving onions and learn to make Apple-Sweetened Yellow Onions

Preserving Chilies

Sambal Oelek (Chile Paste). Get the recipes in The Complete Guide to Pickling by Julie Laing.
Sambal Oelek (Chile Paste). Photograph by Andrew Purcell.

Just like the cabbage I wrote about last week, chilies feature heavily in my pickling cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pickling. I pickle and preserve them on their own in recipes ranging from Beer-Pickled Jalapenos to Spicy Vinegar and from quick-pickled Chile Rings to fermented hot sauces. I also drop them into many of the savory pickles in the book and even a few of the sweeter ones, like Jerk-Spiced Banana Pickles.

Do I preserve so many chilies because we grow more than 40 pepper plants every year, or do we grow that many plants so I have boxes of chilies? It’s hard to say, but at least half of our homegrown peppers carry a mild to a fiery heat. Jalapenos and poblanos take up much of the hoop house space, but I bump up the Scoville scale with serranos, bird’s eye chilies, habaneros, and cayenne peppers.

The mix varies each year—as does the quality and size of the harvest. After buying and pickling pepperoncini to test for a new recipe for the cookbook, I grew some of these mild chilies for the first time last year. They started turning red when they were smaller than my thumb, so I pickled them in pint jars. This year, a plant from Swan River Gardens has grown taller than the cherry tomato cages and produced peppers longer than my index finger. Two half-gallon jars are stuffed full in my fridge, and more peppers are ready to harvest.
Read more about preserving chilies and learn to make Sambal Oelek (Chile Paste)