Halfway to Dinner

1 Batch of Caramelized Onions, 5 Dinners

By • November 4, 2013 • 11 Comments

152 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Put time into dinner now, and you can make it last forever -- or at least the whole week. Welcome to Halfway to Dinner, where we show you how to stretch your staples every which way. 

Today: Caramelized onions are your weeknight dinners' new friend. 

I will never forget my first taste of caramelized onions. I was 23 years old, and some dear friends had made an extra-large batch of Ina Garten’s pan-fried onion dip just for me. At this point in my culinary experience, I didn’t really do onions, or any kind of creamy-dip that could possibly contain mayonnaise, but here were both in front of me, and I couldn’t be rude. As I took my first bite, I expected something sharp and raw, but it was so sweet! Like candy! It’s quite possible I spent the rest of the night there, in front of the dip, eating until they sent me home.

So I began to caramelize onions. They started again as dip, but soon I began to love them on their own, and they became a staple in my fridge. I would spend an afternoon slicing onion after onion, throwing them into a huge pan to cook for hours. There the rings would sweat out their sting until nothing but sweetness was left, and I would enjoy them all week long: in bread and pizza, puff pastry and pasta.

I followed this post on caramelized onions, using 8 onions for the week. Let's begin. 

Caramelized Onion Tartlets
These tartlets come straight from Katie Quinn Davis’ beautiful book What Katie Ate. Just imagine puff pastry topped with caramelized onions, thyme, goat cheese, and reduced balsamic. And then make it. (Bonus: Here's an easy way to fake fancy balsamic.) 

Personal Pizzas
I learned long ago that making everyone their own, smaller pizza was worth the trouble. I can make my husband something basic, like chicken and caramelized onions, and I can experiment with pumpkin crème fraîche, caramelized onions, and mixed greens on top. The kids can have whatever they want, too. 

Grilled Sandwich with Prosciutto, Pears, Caramelized Onions, Mozzarella, and Basil
This is a perfect "adult" grilled cheese sandwich. Follow these simple steps, adding all of the above into the mix before you put the second slice of bread on top. Dig in. 

Frittata with Caramelized Onions and Smoked Mozzarella
Another favorite cookbook recipe -- this one comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I took the cauliflower out of his frittata and added caramelized onions, making quite a delicious dinner. 
 

Goat Cheese Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Butternut Squash
When I was pregnant with my first child, I made this pasta twice a week for dinner. I craved it again during my second pregnancy, and while my husband refuses to eat it now (I can hardly blame him), I still enjoy it frequently. It’s just so good. If you don’t want to cut up a whole butternut squash for this recipe, you can buy frozen, diced squash, or substitute a sweet potato. When in season, other vegetables can be substituted as well; in the summer I eat this with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Goat Cheese Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Butternut Squash

Serves 4

1 cup butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt
1 pound pasta of your choice
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
5 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup dry vermouth (white wine works, too)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 cup caramelized onions
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toasted pecans (optional) 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Sarah Kieffer

Jump to Comments (11)

Tags: halfway to dinner, onions, caramelized onions, recipes, weekday dinners

Comments (11)

Default-small
Default-small
For_food52

8 days ago Melina Hammer

this is so nicely written. and as i'm cooking a batch of caramelized onions as i type this, i can't wait for play with the above goodies!

Open-uri20131107-1793-qy78u4

about 1 year ago Kimberly Reddin

Great recipes Sarah! Love the way you talk about onions too!

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Gorgeous, Sarah! Like all your work is. I wish I had all of these waiting for me for supper right now!

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Also, did you say pumpkin creme fraiche?! I want to know more!

Sarah40_(1_of_1)2square

about 1 year ago sarah kieffer | the vanilla bean blog

Thank you so much! And, pumpkin creme fraiche is so good! I just mixed a little pureed pumpkin into creme fraiche, and added a pinch of brown sugar and a pinch of salt.

Sausage2

about 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yum. I'm definitely giving that a try.

Selfportrait1

about 1 year ago Laura Wright | The First Mess

Beautiful photos, Sarah! These all sound so great :)

Sarah40_(1_of_1)2square

about 1 year ago sarah kieffer | the vanilla bean blog

Thank you Laura! xo

Biopic

about 1 year ago Imen McDonnell

These ALL sound lovely!!! Well done Sarah =)

Me

about 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

Don't they? I'm eyeing that grilled cheese for dinner tonight.

Sarah40_(1_of_1)2square

about 1 year ago sarah kieffer | the vanilla bean blog

Thank you Imen + Kenzi! xx