Thursday, August 19, 2010

Caramelized Onions on Polenta

glen onions5

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
When neighbors give you onions, caramelize them!

My neighbor had a bumper crop of onions and dropped a bucket of them on my doorstep!
What to do with the mother load of onions?



I decided to caramelize them all. That's right, stand over the cutting board, crying, burning stinging eyes, slicing onions (I am a drama queen, it wasn't that bad).

I will use them all week in recipes.
Pizzas, tarts, omelets and these beautiful polenta rounds, swiped with pesto and topped with the onions and fresh herbs.

You can also top creamy polenta with the caramelized onions and serve as a side dish to meats or chicken, but I thought the individual rounds were cuter.



It's very simple to caramelize onions.

You can use any onion variety, red, vidalia, spring onions, leeks or regular white onions.
Not sure what variety these were, but were grown in New Jersey soil.

Slice your onions very thin.
In a heavy stainless steel skillet, heat some olive oil on low-medium heat and cook your onions for about 10 minutes until wilted. Do not brown them. The idea is to slow cook them down.



Add a tablespoon of butter, kosher salt and fresh thyme to the onions and lower the heat and cook down for about 30 minutes until golden brown.



I splash a little balsamic vinegar at the very end of cooking for sweetness, and add a tablespoon of light brown sugar and cook another few minutes.

These beauties will keep in the fridge for a week or more.



Swipe some pesto on top of crostini (toasted bread) or these lovely little grilled polenta rounds (which I had in the freezer from the fig jam apps!), and top with a pile of the caramelized onions.



Yum.

11 comments:

The Japanese Redneck said...

Yum is right and pretty. Luv the little thyme leaves on top.

Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen said...

Amen to "yum". Caramalized onions kick up any sandwich! I have seen recipes that call for alittle sugar, but I like your idea of a dash of balsamic.

Michele said...

I'm in love with this dish!

elra said...

OMG Stacey, you are getting more and more creative each time I visit your site.

We Are Not Martha said...

Polenta and caramelized onions are two of my very favorite things! These look wonderful! :)

Sues

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm going to remember this gem for when the weather gets cooler.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love caramelized onions and the little polenta rounds are very cute - great idea! You have some pretty fabulous neighbors - except for the guy who doesn't recycle!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Thyme, balsamic and brown sugar, I have to remember that I've been loading up on vadalia onions before they disapear. Brilliant with the grilled polenta girlfriend!

Dana said...

Do you have a cast iron skillet? I have recently discovered how much I love caramelizing onions in mine. They cook so evenly and brown much better. I love having a container of these babies in my fridge to dip into all week. Love the combo with the polenta!

tom | tall clover farm said...

My Walla Walla onions are staring me down, "So what ya gonna do with us?" The answer is now before me. Thanks!

kat said...

Stacey, I want you to cater my next party. You always make the most amazing looking finger food!