I love a magic elixir–a special sauce or bit of magic that turns ordinary food into extraordinary. In my circle, I’m a little famous for the bowl of marinated red onions on my kitchen counter (we even call them “Counter Onions”!)…which is amusing, because how could I have known these onions would start a movement? From my Instagram stories you may know that I prize a beautiful entrée salad, and every entrée salad I make includes a bit of this oniony goodness. And there isn’t a simpler recipe.
I marinate my red onions in a high quality olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano. I leave them on my counter uncovered in a little ceramic dish to use every day on my eggs, in a hamburger, in a salad, or in a marinated entree. Daily I get reports on other creative ways people enjoy them–and my own children eat them right out of the bowl.
Make enough to use over two days, and if after two – four days you haven’t used them up, use the oil olive oil to make a salad dressing, sauce up the onions and enjoy them, or chop them up and put them in a chicken salad. They stay fresh about two days on the countertop. You might be asking yourself: why not put them in the refrigerator? I don’t, because when the oil solidifies, the magic is gone. After Heroine Chicken these simply delicious dish enhancers are my most talked about recipe, and deserve their own blog post–so let me know how you use yours! They will perk up just about every savory dish you make.
Marinated Red Onions
- 1 small red onion
- ¾ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano (not ground)
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- Thinly slice the red onion and place in a low bowl.
- In a separate bowl, stir the olive oil, red wine vinegar and dried oregano together to combine well. Pour the mixture over the onions, making sure they are submerged.
- Let sit on counter at room temperature to marinate for at least 3 hours (I usually let mine marinate for 12) before using. Keeps for 2-3 days unrefrigerated.
Marinated Onions MAGIC ELIXIRS™ are a Whole30 Game Changer and a counter staple for me and just about anybody that follows me. If I have one dish that’s a bit of a revolution, I would say these marinated red onions are it! I never imagined that such a simple condiment could unilaterally make such a hit with onion lovers and haters alike. I receive dozens of messages a day from people raving about them. Here are some of my favorites…
“nocrumbsleft Marinated Onions are like Hermes Scarves – they are a sign of taste and complexity, while elevating the simple to elegant and the fantastic to unforgettable.”
“They rock my world! Like, I’m obsessed and my husband thinks I’m having an affair with them.”
“Fantastic on salad, roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs, pork chops, steak.” “…..the list goes on!”
“Marinated Onions are an absolute staple in my house…the addiction is real”
“Marinated onions are your life preserver on Whole30…they add tons of flavor”
“My husband can’t cook but he has mastered Marinated Onions”
“You’ve never had a salad until you’ve had a salad with these marinated onions.”
“These onions will ruin you and having them on hand will be as necessary as having salt in your pantry.”
“Don’t be afraid to try them, they don’t taste like raw onions! They change, like magic into something delicious AND the marinade is great in so many things!”
“My kids eat them straight out of the bowl”
“I can’t remember my life without them, and I don’t want to!”
“I have yet to find a savory food that these don’t go on.”
My kids ask “Can you put that on everything?”
“They work on everything. I never let myself run out of them. At work they are a HUGE hit with everyone too.”
“Magic in my mouth!”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: It seems so hard to get one of your Marinated Onion bowls – how in the world do I get one?
A: We are adding bowls every week. You can message me with your email. I have a short list of folks that I send an email to every week.
Q: The onion bowls seem kind of expensive, why are they priced like that?
A: Each one takes 10 days to make and is hand made by an artisan and each one is numbered and stamped.
Q: What if I just can’t afford spend that much on an onion bowl?
A: If it’s not something that is possible for you, I do regular giveaways. So keep watching the stories and be sure to enter when we do them!
Q: Why do you call them “counter onions”.
A: We call them “counter onions” because they meant to be served room temp and there is never a time that there isn’t a bowl or two on my counter, ready to go!
Q: Why don’t you put them in the refrigerator?
A: I don’t put them in the refrigerator because the oil solidifies and when it does, the magic is gone.
Q: How long are they good for?
A: They are good for about 3-4 days. We enjoy the onions on everything and use the oil as a salad dressing or marinade.
Q: Do I need to cover these?
A: I don’t cover mine but if you live in a warm, tropical area or there is another reason that you need to, feel free.
Q: Can I make the whole recipe in one bowl? (Whether I using the onion bowl or not)? Can I put the marinade in and then stir?
A: It’s best to make the marinade and stir it up in a separate bowl. Then slice your onions, keeping them intact. Then gently place them into the bowl and pour the marinade over them. If you mix it all together in one bowl, you will most likely separate the onions and they may stick out of the oil.
Q: What do I do if I have onions sticking out of the top?
A: Then you probably have too many onions or they are not flat. Be sure to follow the amount of onions called for in the recipe – 1 small, 1/2 medium or 1/4 of a large onion. Be sure to keep them in slices and lay them flat as you put them in the bowl. And make the marinade in a separate bowl.
It’s important not to have them sticking up out of the oil, because they will go bad.
Q: What if I don’t like oregano?
A: I recommend doing just using 1/2 of the oregano. The marinade softens the taste of it so much so that you can barely taste it.
Q: Can I use fresh oregano?
A: Since this is going to stay on the counter at room temperature you need to use dried oregano. Even though I love fresh herbs, dried is better here.
Q: What about using white onions or a different viengar?
A: I love to improvise but I think that this recipe is best as is. It’s not the same with a white onion, avocado oil or a different vinegar (although I have heard that people love pomegranate vinegar). If you require a vinegar with no alcohol content, I know that there are some out there and using that as a substitute would be fine.
Q: Will there be an onion smell in my kitchen if I leave them uncovered on the counter?
A: When you marinate onions and they are under the oil, you will not be able to smell them. (that is why it’s also important to follow the recipe and directions)
Q: Are the onions going to give me bad breath?
A: They should not give you onion breath, because the marinating is a gentle form of cooking so that removes the strong taste and smell.
Q: What if I have too many marinated onions or leftover marinated onion oil past the day that they are good?
A: Share with a friend or neighbor. Or saute the extra onions up – the get crispy and lovely. If you have leftover oil, marinate some protein like a chicken breast or a pork chop. You can use the oil in a salad dressing. Some people even freeze the oil in small containers and use them as a flavored oil for cooking.
Q: What if I am a person that does not digest onions well?
A: If you feel like you can, then try them. Since the marinade gently cooks the onions, they are more easily digestible. But if onions don’t agree with you, then this dish just may not be for you. – then this dish may not be for you.