Vegetarian recipes and info

Caramelized Onions

To caramelize onions, you need to cook them for a long time in a bit of oil. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for them to finish! Caramelized onions
Yield about 2/3 cup
Time at least 30 minutes
  • mandoline (preferably) or knife
  • heavy saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 3 medium onions (1 pound), very thinly sliced
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t sugar
  • fresh herbs (optional)
Directions Heat oil over medium heat until shimmery. Add onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Don’t worry if all the onions don’t fit at once; after you fill the pan, let those onions cook down a bit, then stir in the rest.

Add salt and sugar, lower heat slightly, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until golden brown, for at least 15 minutes. For richer, sweeter onions, keep cooking for up to 2 hours, until dark and meltingly soft.

Whatever you do, don’t let the onions burn – if they seem to be cooking too quickly, lower the heat.

Notes Caramelizing gives onions a rich, velvety taste and texture. Use them on top of pizza, pasta, sandwiches, toast, or any other dish that needs a little oomph.

Also see my recipe for onion confit.

  Key to abbreviations and conversions
Caramelized onions after 45 minutes Caramelized onions after 1½ hours
Caramelized onions after 45 minutes Caramelized onions after 1½ hours
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