As I continue with the pre-season preparations, I thought I would share one of my favorite staples for the table. Caramelizing onions is simple, but does require a bit of patience. A large pan of onions can take up to an hour to finish. Once you have a supply of these sticky-sweet gems however, you can make dressings, pasta sauces, relishes, or just eat them by the spoonful. The longer you cook them, the more natural sugars emerge from the onions. So you can cook them for 7-10 minutes, or until they just begin to brown, and they will retain most of the nutrition. If you cook them until they are completely soft & brown they will obviously be more like desert. One medium sized onion will provide one serving as a side or relish, so adjust the quantity to your needs.
Ingredients: 4 medium yellow or sweet onions 1/4 cup canola oil (or butter plus a little oil if you are feeling decadent) A pinch of salt A splash of white balsamic vinegar (optional)
Method: Remove the root and top ends of the onions, then peel. Cut in half lengthwise. With cut side down, slice into thin strips or wedges. Add oil and onions to a heavy-bottomed skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, on medium-low heat. I use a simmer burner so it will be less likely to get too hot and scorch the onions. Add the salt once the onions begin to soften slightly. Cook gently until the onions brown, or until done to your desired taste. Add a splash of white balsamic vinegar and cook for one minute more. Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes. Serve warm or chilled.