The women in my family are particularly fond of onions –
all varieties. It doesn’t matter how they’re prepared either – sautéed, boiled,
broiled, grilled, stuffed – or just plain raw.
Here’s an onion recipe inspired by my maternal grandmother. She was a master at making fresh red pepper paste that went into just about everything, including this recipe. Caramelized onions offer an amazing sweetness that ultimately impart a most- tantalizing flavor to so many dishes.
Caramelized Onion Relish
5 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil Kosher salt, to taste
3 Tbsp. mild red pepper paste (available in most Middle Eastern stores) diluted in 2 Tbsp. water (NOTE: 3 Tbsp. tomato paste with a dash of paprika and/or cayenne pepper can be substituted) 1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried mint, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
½ tsp. Aleppo red pepper (or ½ tsp. paprika)
Use a mandoline to evenly slice onions.
1. Sautė thinly sliced onions in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to turn golden brown. This will take about 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. (This helps to draw moisture from the onions which aids in the caramelization process.) Cook and stir for another 5 minutes.
Onions begin to caramelize.
Red pepper paste mixture
2. In a small bowl, blend together the red pepper paste, water, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and seasonings. Add the mixture to the onions, stirring
occasionally; cook for about 3 to 5 more minutes. Adjust seasonings and add a bit more olive oil, if necessary.
How To Serve:
We most-often serve this as a topping for bulgur pilaf, but it can be combined with warm, cooked potatoes, or added to tomato sauce for pasta. For an ultra -special treat, top a freshly baked lahmajoun with it, or slather it on juicy lamb burger!