1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1 small clove of garlic, halved
5 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
3 small sprigs of thyme
1 small dried chili
Kettle for boiling water
Knife and cutting board
Sieve or colander
Clean jar or container
Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings
Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.
1/2 pound baby spinach (about 5 cups)
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1/8 cup pickled red onions
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, toss the spinach with the cheese, pecans, and pickled onion.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, begin whisking and continue cooking until it becomes light brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, honey, and vinegar until emulsified.
Drizzle the warm dressing over the salad, toss to combine, and serve immediately.
To gauge when the butter is properly browned, I go more by aroma than color. Once my kitchen fills with that deliciously nutty scent, I know it's ready.
I'm partial to balsamic, but other vinegars, like red wine and sherry, work in the recipe too.
Makes enough for 2 side salads
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or other grainy mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise or full fat yogurt
Fresh pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
Whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, salt, sugar, and pepper until combined. Add the vinegar and whisk until smooth. Toss with salad greens and serve.