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How to caramelise onions


Everyone loves caramelised onions. Cooked long and slow, they're packed with pure sweet flavour. All it takes is time and a little stirring to caramelise the sugars and make the onions silky and jam-like. Make one batch and you can store it in the refrigerator for weeks, ready to star in a classic onion soup or enhance dips, sandwiches and pastas.


Makes 3 1/2 cups

Prep time: 30 min.

Total time: 1 1/4 hr + cooling

You can easily halve the recipe. Use a 6-quart pot instead of an 8-quart.

What you'll need

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 medium yellow onions (about 6 pounds total), halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4- inch thick

2 teaspoons coarse salt or 1 teaspoon table salt

1 tablespoon sugar

What to do

1. In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, 35 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add sugar and cook, stirring often to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot, 35 to 40 minutes. (Lower heat if bottom of pot begins to scorch.)

3. When done, onions should be deep golden brown and have a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat; season with salt. Let cool completely.

To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks.

Per 2 tablespoons: 62 cal; 2.5g fat (1.6g sat fat); 1.1g protein; 9.5g carb; 1.7g fibre


Serves 4

Coarse salt and ground pepper

9 ounces pappardelle or wide egg noodles

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup caramelised onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, 1 minute.

2. Remove 1 1/2 cups pasta water from pot and add to skillet. Drain pasta and add to skillet. Cook, tossing occasionally, until liquid reduces to create a sauce that coats pasta, 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and toss. Serve pasta topped with parsley.

Per serv: 410 cal; 15.4g fat (4.8g sat fat); 9.6g protein; 60.2g carb; 5.5 g fibre.


Serves 8

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1/2 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup caramelised onions

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 can or jar (2 ounces) anchovies, drained and separated

1/2 cup Nic\'b8oise or Kalamata olives, pitted and halved

Coarse salt

Ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 500\'b0. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 11-by-16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle cornmeal on a rimmed baking sheet and place dough on top.

2. Spread onions over dough, leaving a 1-inch border. In a bowl, combine garlic with 1 tablespoon oil; arrange over onions and top with anchovies and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Brush edges of dough with 2 tablespoons oil. (If desired, score into individual servings before baking.) Bake until crust is golden brown and releases easily when a large metal spatula is slid underneath, 9 to 11 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serv: 206 cal; 11.7g fat (2.1g sat fat); 5.1g protein; 21.7g carb; 1.5g fibre


Serves 4

Heat broiler. Bring 5 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth and 1 cup caramelized onions to a simmer over medium heat; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Top thick-sliced country bread with grated Gruye`re cheese and season with pepper; broil until toasted. Serve soup with cheese toasts.

Per serv (soup only): 145 cal; 5.1g fat (3.2g sat fat); 4.9g protein; 20.4g carb; 3.3g fibre.


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