Violet, white, and pale green spring onions are so picturesque that I want them to last forever. Pulled from the ground when they’re as thin as scallions, they are tender and strong tasting, growing sweeter as the bulbs swell to plumpness. These onions are inevitably my first pickle project of the spring, stocking the pantry for another year. Sweet and sour with the combination of sugar and vinegar, the batches are varied by the addition of herbs and spices. Here I used lovage from my garden along with peppercorns and allspice berries, but tarragon is lovely, and so are cloves. The young onions can be tough so I simmer them a little in the pickling liquid. Packed in jars and stored in the refrigerator, they cure in a couple of weeks and last for months, that is, unless they’re gobbled up. I slice them to add to simple potato salad or cucumbers (cooked or raw), or serve them with grilled cheese sandwiches or burgers. The leftover pickling liquid becomes the base for salad dressing.
—Karen, Prospect the Pantry
Test Kitchen Notes
Prospect the Pantry's pickled spring onions are very easy to make, I love recipes that take little effort and produce fantastic results. The brining liquid is wonderful, the whole peppercorns and allspice add just the right amount of spice and go perfectly with the tender spring onions. Everything is very well balanced and I am sure that when the onions have finished curing in 2 weeks it will yeild delicious pickled onions (I made this yesterday and it cured in the refrigerator overnight, I tasted one this morning and although I have two weeks to go, the onion was delicious). I did not have lovage so I used celery leaves instead. I plan on using this brine for other summer vegetables. It is outstanding. —sdebrango
Trim enough onions to fit comfortably into a pint jar with a tight fitting lid. Remove the roots, and cut them into 4-inch lengths. Make sure the jar is very clean.
Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns and allspice berries to a boil and add the trimmed onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, until the onions are slightly tender but still firm. (Use a turkey baster to pierce them to test their firmness.)
Turn off the heat, remove the onions and pack them into the jar. Add the herbs as you pack the onions.
Pour the hot pickling liquid over the onions to cover and set the jar aside to cool.
Seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator to let the onions cure for two weeks before serving.