Melange of Onions – a mixture of several varieties of onions, slow cooked until golden brown and caramelized. Use as a sandwich topping or in soups or dips.
You know how some recipes just fill your house with wonderful smells while they’re cooking? A slow cooked pot roast, for instance. Or a pot of southern style butter beans simmering away on the stove? Well, this is definitely one of those recipes.
Onions, as pungent as they are raw, turn to the most wonderful, caramel-y, delicious substance when cooked over low heat for a long time. And they make an outstanding addition to all kinds of soups, stews, and dips.
They even stand on their own for an appetizer as I used them here. A toasted baguette, spread with a little softened cream cheese, and topped with this Melange of Onions…just about perfect!
This is really more of a technique than an outright recipe and I can’t really call it “caramelized onions” because of the stock that’s included. I suppose, technically, it’s more like braised onions – cooked low and slow in a bit of liquid. But the result is really outstanding.
I always like a mixture of different kinds of onions for this. I think it gives a more interesting flavor. You could, however, use just one or two.
Don’t be put off by the cooking time, either. Once you get these going, they really look after themselves as long as you leave the temperature down pretty low. Just give them a stir in passing and they’ll turn out great.
How to Make Melange of Onions
Use a mixture of at least 3 or 4 different varieties of onion yielding 8 to 10 cups peeled and sliced. This time, I used leeks, garlic, red onions, white and yellow onions, shallots, cipollini, and chives.
Anything that falls within the onion (allium) category will work. I always include leeks because I like the earthy flavor they give to the finished onions but that’s entirely up to you. Whatever you have on hand or they have in your store’s produce department is fine!
You’ll need to peel all the onions (of course, scallions and chives don’t need peeling), cut off the root ends, and slice them.
A tip about peeling onions – use a very sharp knife. Remember, “the sharper the blade, the less you cry.” Using a dull blade crushes the cell walls as it passes through the onion which releases much more of the substance that produces tears. So sharpen your knife before you start!
Place a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, add the onions, stock, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for up to 2 hours (more if they need it!) or until the onions have greatly reduced in volume and a deep golden brown color is achieved. Be sure to bring up any residue on the bottom of the pan each time you stir.
The above is what your onions will look like after about 10 minutes of cooking time.
And here they are after about 30-40 minutes.
And, finally, after about two hours.
You can add an additional tablespoon of water or broth at the end of cooking to deglaze the bottom of the pan, if needed. Also, remember to remove the thyme stems.
What you wind up with is about 1 1/2 cups of yummy, golden brown, delicious onions that you can use right away, store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze and use within 3 months.
I used this batch right away to make a simple appetizer. I toasted a sliced baguette, topped with some softened cream cheese and a spoonful of my Melange of Onions. They also make a great topping for burgers or steak sandwiches, and are a perfect base for onion soup or onion dip.
🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like
- Sour Cream and Onion Cornbread
- English Onion Soup
- Vidalia Onion Gratin
- Green Beans with Bacon and Onions
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Melange of Onions
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 10 cups peeled sliced, or diced mixed onions
- ½ cup stock or wine, or water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- Use a mixture of at least 3 or 4 different varieties of onion. Suggestions include leeks, green onions, red or purple onions, white and yellow onions, cipollini, garlic, chives, and shallots. Prepare the onions and set aside.
- Place a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, add the onions, stock, salt, pepper, and thyme.
- Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for up to 2 hours or until the onions have greatly reduced in volume and a deep golden brown color is achieved. Be sure to bring up any residue on the bottom of the pan each time you stir. An additional tablespoon of water or broth can be added at the end of cooking to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Remove the thyme stems.
- Store covered in the refrigerator and use within 3 days. Or freeze and use within 3 months.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.