Despite the fact that onions are foundational to more things than I can count, I have several friends who loathe onions. One friend claims that eating onions is like eating fly wings. To my knowledge, I’ve never eaten fly wings, but if onions do in fact taste like fly wings, I have a newfound appreciation for flies. It won’t stop me from swatting them, however, because despite the tears, amassing a cup of chopped onions seems far easier than even a tablespoon of fly wings.
It is a rare person who looks at onions and says “ooh! sugar!” instead of “this is going to hurt” as they brace to go in for the slice or chop. Simplicity and science partner perfectly to transform a crisp root vegetable from a sharp insult to the tear ducts on the cutting board into a molten mass of sweet deliciousness on the tongue. With just 3 humble ingredients plus a little low heat and a hefty dose of patience, the process by which the plentiful sugars of the onion slowly transform is pure culinary alchemy!
Keeping a batch of caramelized onions in the fridge makes it easy to add some flavor to a number of dishes including dips, soups, atop sandwiches, burgers and main-dish proteins.
- April 23, 2021
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- 3 large yellow onions
- 3 tablespoons olive oil*
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Step 1
- Slice onion in half through root end.
- Step 2
- Cut a v-shaped notch at base to remove the root.
- Step 3
- Slice onions vertically (from top to root end), keeping them as even as possible*
- Step 4
- In a wide saute pan or skillet over medium heat, add oil and swirl to coat.
- Step 5
- When oil is warm enough to sizzle a piece of onion, add onions to pan, in batches if necessary.
- Step 6
- Once all onins have been added, stir well, set a timer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Step 7
- Sprinkle onions with 1/4 teaspoon kosher and salt stir well.
- Step 8
- Reduce heat to low and set timer for 5 minutes.
- Step 9
- Continue to stir onions at regular intervals until they reach desired doneness.*
- Step 10
- Cool to room temperature and store in refrigerator or freeze for future use.
- Step 11
- Step 12
- Other oils or butter may be preferred depending on final use.
- Step 13
- Width can vary depending on purpose. Thicker onions are great for burgers, thinner ones are great atop pizza, in dips or chopped into a jam in sandwiches.
- Step 14
- Depth of color brings depth of flavor. A honeycolored onion still has some structure and offers a delicate sweetnedd. A caramel colored onion is great for dips, quiches and sandwiches. A onion taken to the edge of burning is perfect for a burger fresh off of the grill.