“…the butlers set the silver domes in from of them. The lights had dimmed, and the lids were whisked away. There, on the plates, Bern saw the tiniest bird carcasses imaginable, browned and glistening with butter. There was a collective gasp; L’ortolan, a woman murmured, her voice thick with longing.”
-Lauren Groff, Delicate Edible Birds
_ _ I have the ultimate “grass is always greener” attitude: when it’s summertime and I start sweating on the walk from the front door to my car, I find myself longing for the cozy sweaters and excitement of a first snow… in the winter, when I’m shivering in bed and trying to warm my popsicle toes against my boyfriend’s legs, I think fondly of the warm sun and curse the itchy sweaters and unending sleet. So, since I’m always trying to improve myself (I’m so close to being perfect), I’m going to appreciate the present–carpe diem! These caramelized onions are so delicious on top of summer’s BBQ burgers and if your friends and family try to tell you they look like a certain earth-dwelling invertebrate– tell them you won’t stop singing until they take a taste… “No body likes me, everybody hates me, I’m going out to eat…”
2 1/2- 3 lbs Sweet Onions (I used Walla Walla, but you could use Vidalia or even red onion)
3-4 tbsp Olive Oil
1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1. Chop the ends off the onions and remove the skin, then cut them in half. Cut the onion halves into about 1/4 inch slices and separate the pieces.
2. In a large sautee pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add about 1/4 of the onions. Toss until all the onions are covered with a little oil and allow them to sweat down, stirring occasionally until they are golden brown around the edges. Remove these onions from the heat and put them in the bowl of a slow cooker. Repeat these steps with the rest of the onions.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar and the brown sugar until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Toss the mixture with the onions in the crock pot and turn the cooker on the “low” setting.
4. Stir the onion mixture about every half hour for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the onions are a dark brown. The vinegar never really thickened for me, but if yours does, don’t panic! That will just add to the flavor and make a nice sauce.
*Serve over burgers or on a grilled chicken sandwich… yum!