Friday, October 13, 2017

Rick Bayless's Pickled Red Onions, Served On His Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic

Looking for recipes featuring garlic and onions and craving tacos, I turned to Rick Bayless for inspiration. I found a recipe for Pickled Red Onions on his website. I thought the tangy lime flavor of the pickled onions would work well as a condiment for tacos and decided to make his recipe for Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic. It's not the first time I''ve made this recipe (as you can see here I made them last year) but it was what I was craving and they make a great meat-free Friday dinner.

The pickled onions are simple and I liked that they used lime juice and salt instead of vinegar. I kept the taco recipe pretty much as written--just replacing the chicken stock with garlic broth and replacing the hard to find epazote with oregano and cilantro. My changes are in red below.

Pickled Red Onions
Recipe from From
(Makes about 1 cup)

1 small red onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 cups fresh lime juice

With a knife or food processor, thinly slice the onions. Scoop into a non-reactive bowl. 

Pour boiling water over them, count to 10, then immediately pour the onions into a strainer. Shake off all the water, pour the onions back into the bowl, pour on the lime juice and stir in the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The onions will last for a week or more in the refrigerator.

Mushroom Tacos with Onions and Garlic
Slightly Adapted from
(Makes 4 to 6 Tacos)

12 oz fresh mushrooms, washed and chopped into 1/2 -inch pieces (I sliced them)
1/2 medium white onion, diced
1 or 2 fresh green chiles (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
2/3 cup chicken stock or water (I used garlic broth)
1/2 small lime, juiced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large ripe tomato, roasted or boiled, cored, peeled and roughly chopped  OR 3/4 of a 15-oz can tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp epazote, chopped (optional) (I used 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro & 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano)
salt to taste

Place the mushrooms, onion, chile, broth or water, lime juice and lard or other fat in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms begin to fry in the fat.

While the mushrooms are cooking, puree the tomato with the garlic in a blender or food processor. 

When the mushrooms begin to fry, add the tomato mixture and optional epazote and cook until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and scrap into a serving bowl. Serve with tortillas on the side for making tacos.

Notes/Results: I like these tangy pickled onions with their strong lime flavor. They added a bright bite to the meaty mushroom tacos and I think they will be excellent with fish tacos this weekend, as well as with avocado toast or sandwiches. Between the boiling water, salt and lime juice, they don't have the usual red onion bite and they paired well with the sweet yellow onion I used in the tacos. Quick and easy--and I love their bright color too--I will happily make them again. 

As a bonus, some of my other favorite allium-centered recipes from IHCC chefs are:

Jacques Pépin's Garlic Soup:
Garlic Soup with Harissa by Yotam Ottolenghi:

Jacques Pépin's Onion-Crusted Mahi Mahi:

Diana Henry's Cabbage & Leek Colcannon:

Nigel Slater's Leek and Camembert Risotto

And back when I ate meat and poultry--Nigella Lawson's Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic:

I could keep going with many more delicious allium dishes from IHCC chefs but the above were some of my very favorite.
This post is linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is October's Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Alliums! We are featuring recipes from any of our current or past IHCC featured chefs that use any member of the allium family such as onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots. You can see what everyone made by checking out the picture links on the post.  


  1. Those tacos look delicious! I love mushrooms and would never thought to taco-fy them.

  2. I have a thing for pickled red onions but I have not been making them because my husband hates vinegar and I have developed an allergy to vinegar. I am so happy to find this recipe made with lime!! I'll be making the red onions again!! yay!!

  3. Oh Deb, that is one luscious roundup of allium dishes! Jacques' garlic soup and the leek and camembert! I was a little too long-winded to share mine, or at least I felt that way.

    Love Rick's veggie tacos with the bright red pop of pickled onion. Like you, I would prefer to pickle with citrus in place of vinegar, much tastier that way. Looks yummy!

  4. There is a whole lot of allium dishes to satisfy anyone. I like the trick of pickling red onions with lime juice. I'll sure try that sometime.

  5. I'm intrigued by the idea of pickling the onions in the lime juice. Will definitely give these a go!

  6. Your onions looks so pretty and crunchy! The whole meal with the mushroom tacos looks delicious. It has been sometime since I last cooked with Rick Bayless. All your allium dishes looks delicious, and Nigella's Chicken with Forty Cloves Of Garlic, is my family's top favourite too!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)