Fresh Caramelized Onion Relish


While a lot of top-flight burger and dog joints offer freshly grilled onions on their burgers and dogs (and sandwiches and salads) — fresh onion relish is an onion of a different color.   As sliced onions are saute’d slowly, they release their natural sugars and caramelize, both in color and flavor.  With a dash of salt and butter, a generous shake of brown sugar and a few drops of balsamic vinegar — subtlety ensues and you end up with a relish that can be made in advance, and kept for 4-6 days in the fridge to adorn future snacks and dinners!


2 lbs sweet onions like vidalia and Walla Walla onions, halved and sliced as thin as possible
1/2 c salted butter (REAL butter, not a substitute or margarin)
3 T organic shoyu soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t white pepper
3 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 t ground nutmeg (fresh grated if possible)

  • to prepare the onions, cut each onion into quarters lengthwise, then slice each quarter so that onion strands are no longer than 2-3″.
  • Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat, and add shredded onions, tossing until onions are coated with butter.
  • season lightly with salt and white pepper
  • turn the burner down to halfway between low and med and saute, slowly, turning/stirring frequently so they saute evenly and no browning or crisping occurs.  This can take a while.
  • while the onions saute, comgine vinegar, nutmeg and shoyu in a cup and set aside.
  • when the onions begin to caramelize, sprinkle the brown sugar over them to add extra sweetness, and continue to brown.
  • when all the onions are transparent and evenly brown, add the vinegar/shoyu mixture and turn off the burner.  Allow onions to rest for 5 minutes before using, or allow them to cool before storing in fridge for later use

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