Thursday, September 16, 2010

CarmaCarmaCarmaCarma-lized Chameleon(ions)

I know what you're thinking. ("Why can't I carmelize onions real good?") Well, as long as you fix your grammar, today's your lucky day.

*Note: This recipe is also fabulous for cherry tomatoes, which you can throw in with the onions or have on their own for a whole different treat.


Onions (less than $1)
Olive Oil (or any kind of oil if you can't afford to splurge)
Balsamic Vinegar (If you don't have it, invest in it! $2-3 at Trader Joe's)
Salt and Pepper

The Grand Total: Less than $1


Peel and slice onions -- red are best!  In my opinion, the thinner the better, but I also like to keep the rings in tact.

Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a saute pan. Swirl it around so that the oil coats the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Place the pan over medium heat.

Throw the onions in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir them quickly to make sure they're all coated with the oil.

Now for the most important part: LEAVE THEM BE! The onions will caramelize when their natural sugars seep out and start to crisp. This won't happen--or not nearly as much--if you don't fight the temptation to keep stirring them up.

After about 5 minutes, give them a quick stir so the other sides get to crisp too. After another 5 minutes, pour in 3 tablespoons or so of balsamic vinegar. Stir and let it sit again for another 5 minutes or so, or until you can no longer resist the urge to start eating them.

I like eating them in a salad with baby lettuce, feta, veggie burger, artichoke hearts, and balsamic vinaigrette, or just on a baguette. Crunch away!

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