12 hours ago
Thursday, August 19, 2010
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.