Simple Sundays | Rustic Red Onion Relish

I’m in fleece pants today. For the second day in a row. Lest you think I always dress like this, I’ll have you know that I make a very conscious effort to look presentable every day. It may just be a trip to the grocery…

Simple Sundays | Rustic Red Onion Relish

I’m in fleece pants today. For the second day in a row.

Lest you think I always dress like this, I’ll have you know that I make a very conscious effort to look presentable every day. It may just be a trip to the grocery store, but I like to at least wear well fitted jeans and a proper top. Sweats are for the gym. Actually, not even. I try to coordinate at the gym, too.

But sometimes you need to just let go and allow yourself to relax. That’s what long weekends are for – to wear comfy pants, with elastic waists. To cuddle with the ones you love. To take your time in the kitchen. And to eat simply.

Time has a way with onions, too. Freshly cut, and they’re fierce with bite. But give them some time in a pan, and they sweeten. They soften up for you.

Same thing with red peppers. A little roast under the broiler, and they turn into a mellow putty in your hands.

Combine them together, and you have a vibrant Rustic Red Onion Relish. The sweetness of the onions and peppers are balanced by the heat of some jalapeno and the acid of sherry vinegar, leaving you with a very versatile condiment. Use them with some cheese smothered crostini. Or do as I have and use it as a topping for a grilled pork paillard. You’ll be surprised at how many ways you can enjoy it! And when the start of the busy week returns, and you find yourself running about, busy and nicely dressed, it will be a welcome sight in the refrigerator to add some oomph to your weeknight suppers. Like the best accessories, it goes with almost everything.

Rustic Red Onion Relish

About 2 cups.


1-2 medium red bell peppers
2 jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 large red onions, sliced (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


Preheat the broiler.

Cut the red bell pepper(s) in half, place cut side down on a foil covered baking sheet along with the whole jalapeno peppers. Broil the peppers until the skins are blistered and brown/black. Remove from broiler and cinch up the foil in a pocket. Allow to cool. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, unwrap the foil and carefully peel the skins. Discard the seeds and pith as well. Cut into 1/4 in pieces.

Heat a deep sided saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions. Cook the onions until they are soft, about 20-30 minutes. If the bottom of the pan becomes too brown, add about a tablespoon of water and scrape up the brown bits. Add the sherry vinegar, roasted peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy immediately, or at room temperature.


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  1. Tara

    You may want to check out Vicki’s Canning World on Facebook, she posted this recipe and one of your pictures yesterday with no credit (can barely see the watermark on the picture) given to you. 

  2. Carianne

    I made this to add a little variety to my grilled chicken during a weekday dinner. It was really quite outstanding, extremely robust flavor that goes great with almost everything and healthy to boot. Thanks so much for posting this, I stumbled across your blog from tastespotting and now it is one of the pages I regularly check.

    • liren

      Hi, Carianne – I am so glad that you enjoyed it, and even happier that you found me on Tastespotting! Thank you so much :)

  3. [email protected]

    What I mostly liked about this post today is your talk on sweats. I’m an avid exerciser and have never owned sweat pants. I always think I should purchase some to cozy around the house and can’t bring myself to do it. (So I’ll just stay in flannel bottoms) which is not officially sweat pants. Funny. But, I’ll bet you always look way way better at the grocery store than I do. If you dress like your food looks, you are top notch.

  4. Maureen

    I have never met an onion I didn’t love but I think I could have a real relationship with this relish!!

  5. Magic of Spice

    What a delightful relish, and such lovely photos! I fear I must admit I am quite cozy in fleece, and am a big “work in my comfy’s” person :)
    Hope you are having a lovely weekend…

  6. Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie

    I’m such a sucker for red onion relish. We put it on everything around here! Yours looks delightfully different from mine — I adore how dark the red onions are, almost like a deep mulled wine. Gorgeous, Liren!

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