Friday, December 3, 2010


One of my grandmother’s most reliable mantras was, “Simple is elegant.”  That little platitude has served me well over the years; when I get too muddled over anything I always revert to keeping it simple.

Such is the case for my Red Onion Relish. Unlike many relishes, which have an abundance of ingredients and a complex flavor, this caramelized onion recipe is simply composed creating an intense, uncomplicated flavor. This onion condiment enhances everything from burgers, beef or chicken, to grilled vegetables or a sandwich.

The following recipe is for a small batch that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. You can double or triple the batch and process in a hot water bath for storage on the pantry shelf or gift giving. Some people prefer red wine vinegar in place of balsamic, so I recommend making two small batches first, to discover which one you prefer and so you can  practice  caramelizing the onions.

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2 large Red Onions, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar

1 cup dry Red Wine

5 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (or ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar)

1/8 tsp each Salt and White Pepper


Slice onions as thinly as possible. I use my Cuisinart for this step. 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.

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. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Remove jars from canner and ladle relish into jars to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Process in hot water bath for 10 minutes for half-pint jars. Otherwise ladle into small container that can be tightly capped and store up to one month in the refrigerator.


  1. have made this the last few years using 3T balsamic. It's wonderful. Usually use it on herb focaccia with gorgonzola cheese. Great with steaks also