This unassuming salad is always a pleasant surprise … tangy, crunchy and an absolute delight to the taste buds.
Onions are used in cooking in practically every country in the world. In Ukraine, where it is called цибуля (tsibulya), onion has long been considered an indispensable vegetable flavourings.
Onions come in many varieties, varying in shape, size, weight, colour and pungency. The cause of the onion’s strong smell and flavour is a volatile oil rich in sulphur compounds. Because it causes crying without real cause, in Ukrainian folklore the tsybulia is a symbol of hypocrisy. "She rubbed her eyes with onions" is said about someone who pretends to cry.
A tip to remember to avoid real tears: peel onions under running water.
In the meantime, here is a recipe for a simple yet absolutely delicious onion salad (courtesy Sevala’s Ukrainian Deli in Winnipeg).
It’s really quite simple. All you do is marinate sliced onions in a sweet and sour brine overnight, then dress it up.
For the brine you will need:
½ cup water
½ cup vinegar
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
This will be enough brine to marinate 1 large onion. The brine keeps for a long time in the fridge, so you can make it in smaller batches if you like.
Use sweet onion and slice it very thin. A bit of red onion adds nice colour. Bring the brine ingredients to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Cool, then pour over onion slices. Allow to marinate for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Remove onion from brine and drain well. Toss gently with mayonnaise to taste, and sprinkle with celery seeds.
Serve, and enjoy. Смачного!