pickled + preserved

pickled red onions- blackberry farm style

This weekend we pickled something new for the first time using a recipe from our Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm cookbook. Blackberry Farm is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee full of hard working folks after our own heart.


With Ryan being from Knoxville (East Tennessee) this cookbook holds a special place for him. The recipes are fresh, seasonal, and deeply rooted in Appalachian heritage. The imagery is as inspiring as the recipes. Both truly reflecting the beauty found on Blackberry Farm. I can definitely see some gourmet homemade southern dinners coming straight from these pages.

Having grown up in North Dakota I didn’t develop much of a palate for southern food. Though, I am finding a few signature southern dishes I do like, crave even. (This may have something to do with Ryan’s cooking.)

The most recent southern win for me is the pickled red onions we just whipped up. I say whipped up because these tasty guys took no time at all. You don’t even have to wait to enjoy, once they have cooled to room temperature you can dig-in. We immediately put ours on the leek breakfast pizza that we made from The CSA Cookbook.


Pickled Red Onions

(from the Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm by Sam Beall)


1 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup cane sugar
2 whole allspice
1 whole star anise
1 clove of garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
1 3-inch fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 red onion cut into 1/4-inch julienne slices

In a medium, nonreactive saucepan, pour in the vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup of water.


In a large square of cheesecloth place the allspice, star anise, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Tie the cheesecloth tightly together and add it to the sauce pan.


Bring to a boil over medium heat, occasionally stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Then, add the onions and remove heat. Let the mixture cool and remove the cheesecloth with herbs.


Enjoy them right away (like we did) or transfer to a 1-quart Ball jar with pickling liquid and spices. They last up to two weeks refrigerated.


We are making leek green and saucy shrimp stir-fry (from our trusty CSA Cookbook) for dinner tonight. These pickled red onions might just get added to the mix.

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