Overnight ‘pickled’ onions

We’ve recently returned from a long weekend in Lisbon, where we went to the Eurovision Song Contest.

I could wax lyrical about the incredible (and incredibly cheap) pastel de nata and espresso, but frankly after five days I was relieved to get home, slip briefly in sobriety, and eat something containing vitamins.

To top it off, Marc has gone immediately on tour with a new show and is staying in actor’s digs during the week. I’ve been home alone, and I’ve been existing – gladly – on salads and grilled meat.

The best aspect of any salad is, in my eyes, a pickled onion. I’m too lazy and impatient to spend significant time and money making my own, so mine involve neither. Why try harder?


Prep time: 5 minutes (+overnight in the fridge)


  • 1 red onion
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2tsp table salt
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper


  1. Skin and halve the onion, then slice into half moons and divide into rings.
  2. Place into an old jam jar with the salt and vinegar. Add a pinch each of chilli flakes and black pepper.
  3. Seal the jar with the lid and give it a good shake, then place in the fridge overnight. It’ll be ready to eat the next day.

The salt will draw the water out of the onions, and the vinegar will also start to break down the fibres and soften them – a vigorous shake will break them up and get them started.

The ones pictured have just gone into the fridge and should be nicely broken down in time for a tasty work lunch tomorrow.


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