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Nov 9, 2004 03:07 PM

carmelizing red onions?

  • e

has anyone carmelized red onions? should I use butter or evoo or both?

I want to do something with the onions and cooked salmon-


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  1. A great combination - I have a recipe for salmon w/ carmelized red onions - will dig up and post this evening. I think there were pine nuts and golden raisins in the carmelized red onions.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Alright - I found the recipe, though the relish goes w/ Red Snapper in the recipe, I'm sure it would be good w/ Salmon.

      Heat 2 T EVOO in large, heavy skillet. Add 2 C thinly sliced red onions and saute over medium heat until soft but not brown. Stir in 1 T dry red wine & 2 T red wine vinegar. Remove from heat.

      After cooking the fish, reheat the onion and add in 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. pignoli, 1 tsp. golden raisins (I think I'd add a little more of the pignoli & raisins - 1 tsp. seems like almost nothing) and 1 tsp. freshly grated orange zest.


      1. re: MMRuth

        thank you!

        I sauteed the thinly sliced onions in redwine vinegar and a dash of balsamic vinegar and sevred with broiled salmon. It was very nice- the flavors worked well together.

        1. re: edinaeats
          culinary nerd

          The coloring agent of red onions is an anthocyanin, which will bleed its color when heat is applied unless an acidic ingredient such as red wine vinegar is added.

          That is the purpose of the vinegar--it does add a good flavor, but it also helps preserve some amount of the color of the onions.

    2. Yeah, I've done this. They bleed out and can look kind of grey. You might want to use regular yellow onions, which have a stronger flavor, or add some shallots or leeks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lucia

        I have a cookbook that calls for carmelizing red onions for making french onion soup. Its been a while since I made the recipe, but it definitely mentioned the problem of them turning gray - and added a bit of balsamic vinegar as a way to restore a more traditional french onion soup color. I think I carmelized in evoo. This is one of the cook books by the cooks illustrated folks, and they claimed to try making the soup with every kind of onion, and red had the best flavor.

      2. It's super easy, delicious, and adds great color to any dish. For either red or white onion: slice to medium thickness (like 1/3 in.), put EVOO (1/2 tbsp. to 1 tbsp.) in pan large enough to fit slices in one layer, add pinch of salt (this is important so that sugars are rendered), saute on LOW heat until onions are soft and browned but not burnt. If done the proper way this might take 10-15 min., but sometimes I do a quick 5-7 min. on med. heat. Sometimes I add a pinch of sugar for more sweetness and a splash of balsamic (only w/ red onion) for punch.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Carb Lover

          also, putting a lid on the pan at the beginning of the process hurries it along without drying out the onions.

        2. What is evoo? ttia

          1 Reply
          1. re: Newbie

            extra virgin olive oil