Pickled Sugar Pumpkin and Caramelized Onion Salad | Mrs. Wages

Pickled Sugar Pumpkin and Caramelized Onion Salad

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I initially made this salad to take to a potluck, but it is now a regular favorite on our dinner table. Once you have the pickled sugar pumpkin in your pantry, the only real work of it is caramelizing the onions, which is an easy, fragrant task.


Pickled Sugar Pumpkin and Caramelized Onion Salad | Mrs. Wages


Pickled Sugar Pumpkin (2 Pints)

1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 2 pounds)

1 Tbsp pickling salt

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

4 whole black peppercorns

2 whole cloves

2 thin slices fresh ginger, slivered

2 green cardamom pods

1 bay leaf, crumbled


1 pt Pickled Sugar Pumpkin

2 red onions

8 cups baby arugula, washed and dried

3 oz pecorino romano cheese

1/2 cup olive oil, divided

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper


Pickled Sugar Pumpkin

1Peel, seed and chop pumpkin into 1/2 inch cubes. Place cubes in a bowl and toss them with pickling salt. Let them sit 2-3 hours.

2Pour liquid from cubes, rinse them well and drain them. Pack them into clean pint jars.

3Prepare a boiling water bath canner. Place two lids in a small pot and bring them to a bare simmer.

4In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and spices with one cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer the liquid 10 minutes.

5Once the brine has had a chance to simmer, remove it from the heat. Pour the brine over the squash, using a fine mesh sieve to catch the spices. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.

6Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. When time is up, remove jars from canner and let them cool. When jars are cool, remove rings, test seals and wash jars to ensure there’s no sticky brine left on them.

7Let jars settle for at least a week before eating. Unopened jars can be kept in a cool dark place for up to one year.


1Slice red onions into thin half moons. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium heat. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter. Add sliced onion to skillet and slowly cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring regularly, until the volume is greatly reduced and the onions are deep, dark brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2Heap arugula in a large salad bowl. Top with drained pumpkin cubes and the caramelized onions. Using a vegetable peeler, scrape thin bits of pecorino Romano into the bowl. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve.

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Mrs. Wages Safety notes:
For canning safety, always consider your local altitude when calculating accurate processing times. Read this USDA guide for proper food safety and canning processing guidelines or consult the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s Guide 1 Principles of Home Canning. Also, prepare and process home canning jars and lids according to manufacturer’s instructions for sterilized jars. Keep jars hot.

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