July 18, 2009

Caramelized Red Onion Relish

Because it has been a wet season in our area, I am having to pull our onions much earlier than normal to prevent them from rotting. I used this recipe as a food preservation method. I also cleaned and chopped some for the freezer to pull out when making soups and stews. Onions normally will dry out in the sun for a day or so to prepare them for storage. Because of the wet season I have not been able to do this, and therefore, I needed some alternate ideas for keeping them longer.

This recipe was a cinch. If you are a wine drinker, you could easily use leftover wine. The recipe cooks for a long time, and so the alcohol should be cooked out of the wine if that is of concern. The photo shows crackers with cream cheese topped with the relish. The cookbook also suggests to use the relish as a pizza topping. YUM!


Caramelized Red Onion Relish from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard

Yields 2 cups

2 large red onions, peeled (I only had small onions from the garden, and so I guessed. The recipe does not seem to be one that must be precise)

1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 c. dry red wine

3 T. balsamic vinegar

1/8 t. each salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Slice onions into very thin slices. Combine onions and sugar in a heavy non-stick skillet. Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into a clean wide-mouthed jar and cool briefly.
  4. Remove hot jars from canner and ladle relish into jars to within 1/2 inch of rim (head space). Process 10 minutes for half pint jars in water bath canner.

Since the recipe makes so little, you do not have to process the jars if you store in the refrigerator and use it within 3 weeks. The recipe easily doubles, and I highly recommend doing so for more yield. It is fantastic!

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