Zesty pickled red onions are sour, salty and sweet. They are a multi-purpose condiment that make for a zippy and flavorful addition to tacos, burgers, sandwiches, roast meats–you name it. It may seem somewhat silly to par-cook them for 30 seconds, but this quick cooking process softens them and makes them more receptive to the vinegar and seasonings.
Sterilized glass container with a tight lid, such as a pint canning jar
Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the onions and cook for 30 seconds, then drain in a colander. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a sterilized glass container with a tight lid, such as a pint canning jar. Add the thyme. You want to make sure there is enough headroom at the top of the jar so that the vinegar solution can cover the onions.
In a second medium pot, combine the vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions in the jars, making sure the onions are completely submerged. Let cool slightly.
Cover and refrigerate until the onions turn pink and are seasoned throughout, at least 8 hours. Drain the onions and serve. The onions can be refrigerated in the pickling liquid for up to 2 weeks.
Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for one year. Making sure hands, equipment and surfaces in your canning area are clean is the first step in canning. Tips: Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with glass, plastic or metal lids that have a rubberlike seal. Two-piece metal lids are most common. To prepare jars before filling: Wash jars with hot, soapy water, rinse them well and arrange them open-side up, without touching, on a tray. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Jars have to be sterilized only if the food to be preserved will be processed for less than 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath or pressure canner. To sterilize jars, boil them in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 10 minutes. Follow manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and preparing lids and bands. Use tongs or jar lifters to remove hot sterilized jars from the boiling water. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too: Dip the tong ends in boiling water for a few minutes before using them. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, preserves and pickles must be clean, including any towels and especially your hands. After the jars are prepared, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products. Find Information information on canning can be found at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website: http://nchfp.uga.edu/.