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Caramelized Onions

makes 2 cups

You can enrich these intensely sweet onions with rosemary, thyme, black pepper, chili peppers or cloves. They can be refrigerated for 2 weeks or frozen for 3 months.

Read more about this recipe at the Washington Post.


2 pounds yellow onions
1 to 2 teaspoons salt
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)


prep: 20 minutes
total: 1 hour 20 minutes


plastic bowl
wide iron pot or skillet


1. Halve the onions, remove the tough outer layers and cut the onion halves into thin slices.

2. Place the onion slices in a plastic bowl, sprinkle with salt and sugar, and toss. Set aside for at least 10 minutes. (There is no maximum time, although some unwanted but harmless browning may occur after a couple of hours.)

3. Melt the butter, if desired, over medium heat in a wide iron pot or skillet. Add the sliced onions. Reserve any liquid left in the bowl. Cook over medium heat under close observation, stirring or tossing often with a spatula, until the first browning is visible. Reduce the heat and add the liquid from the bowl. For the best result, reduce the heat to very low, cover the pot and cook for an hour or more, stirring every 10 minutes or so. For a shorter process, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook under close observation for about 20 minutes.

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