I am taking refuge from the rain at my stove with my first post to Pipelette. Pipelette is French for chatterbox … I am going to chat with you about food as gift — making food to share, a hostess gift, a Christmas present, a cheer-up for a friend, a care package or dinner for a friend.
Befitting the gray and wet day, I went to work on a comfort food gift, onion jam. Comfort food? you say. Indeed. Three large onions, sliced into thin half-moons and sauteed until they melt in your mouth, caramelized with sugar and white balsamic vinegar. Delicious. When puzzled gift recipients question the usage of said present, tell them the myriad ways they can use the jam. As a topping on soft polenta, or an addition to homemade pizza or store-bought, for that matter. Toast a baguette with melted Gruyere and finish with onion jam for a gourmet melted cheese sandwich or go for a prosaic snack of crackers and cheese and a dollop of jam. You get the picture.
Sweet Onion Jam
Makes 2 cups
1/4 c. olive oil
3 medium, sweet white onions, sliced thinly into half-moons
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1-2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1. Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add onions and cook until golden brown, for about 20 minutes.
2. Tie herbs together in a bouquet garni (use kitchen string). Add your bundle to the cooking onions and lower heat. Stir a few times and let marinate for about 3 minutes, until the herb’s fragrance is released.
3. Sprinkle sugar over onions and cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and cook, without stirring until you note a caramel-color, about 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and simmer over low heat, until jam thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove bouquet. Season your jam with salt and let cool.
This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Send it to a friend soon!