I am excited to share today’s recipe for Sweet Onion Marmalade. This savory marmalade is a great way to highlight sweet onions, which are in their prime during Springtime. When I am in the kitchen, I naturally gravitate towards baking, and I sometimes have to remind myself to see beyond flour, sugar, and butter. This onion marmalade immediately caught my attention, though; it proved itself to be a versatile and delicious condiment. My husband and I couldn’t believe how many dishes were made even better, just by adding a spoonful of marmalade.
To make this marmalade, you need to thinly slice a whole pound of onions. Tears will be streaming down your face, but the end result is worth it. Caramelizing onions takes a bit of patience, but a couple tablespoons of brown sugar will help speed up the process and add just a bit more sweetness. To add even more flavor, I used dried thyme, dried ginger, and cayenne pepper. These spices are really just background characters; the cayenne will make it only slightly spicy, and the thyme and ginger make the overall flavor just a little more interesting. At the end, I drizzled in balsamic vinegar to brighten it up and balance out the sweetness with a little tang. Tasting the marmalade still warm, it was absolutely wonderful. But chilled for a few hours, and it got even better.
If the sound of onion marmalade is unappealing, I want to relieve you of that sort of thinking. I loved having it in my fridge; whenever my dinners seemed a little blah or boring, the marmalade was sure way to improve the meal. Truthfully, my very favorite way to incorporate the marmalade was in homemade French onion dip. French onion dip is one of my favorite foods, but I have always just bought it from the store. Never again, though. By combining sour cream (two generous spoonfuls), mayonnaise (about half the amount of sour cream), and the onion marmalade (one spoonful), it makes the best dip, ever. Ever! This marmalade was also marvelous on homemade pizza. Tuesday is pizza night in our house and while we usually stick to classic red sauce and mozzarella, this marmalade was a great way to shake up our routine. To make it, I spread a garlic/olive oil/butter combination over an unbaked pizza crust. I topped that with the marmalade, sprinkled over mozzarella and parmesan, and baked until it was bubbly and delicious. Anytime I make and eat a white pizza, I always feel very sophisticated. This spin on pizza was a total winner in our house.
I hope you guys give this recipe a try (and let me know if you do!); the marmalade will keep beautifully in the fridge for a few weeks. If you are able to find Vidalia onions, grab those. This time of year, they are so sweet and good. But any sweet onion will work.
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb sweet onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onions. Generously season with salt and pepper, and stir in the brown sugar.
- Cook the onions over medium-low to medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened (but not mushy) and translucent.
- Add the thyme, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and stir well to combine.
- Increase heat to medium and pour in the balsamic vinegar. Cook the marmalade for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until all the liquid is dissolved.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Transfer to a glass jar and chill.
- This marmalade tastes best after it has had a chance to cool and for the flavors to meld. It will keep in the fridge for three weeks.