30 by 30: Onion Jam

March 10, 2011 · 20 comments

in 30 by 30,appetizers and snacks,vegetables

Onion jam must seem like a very odd thing to put on a 30 by 30 list.  It’s not a main dish or a dessert, it’s not complicated, and it’s just…well, it’s just a weird thing to add to the list.  But, one of the main reasons that I did it is that I used to hate onions.  I mean, I would eat things that were cooked with sauteéd onions like soup or what have you.  But to eat onions as a condiment or in an obvious form?  Uh, no thanks.  I didn’t want any raw onions in my salad (I still don’t), please hold the grilled onions with my burger, and you can keep your big chunks of onions in my breakfast potatoes.

At some point, I started warming up to onions.  I’m pretty sure it all started with French onion soup, which is now one of my favorite soups, by far.  If I could eat a whole crock full of onions, I must like onions, right? (Of course, bread and melted cheese will help me like anything.)  At that point I realized that I loved caramelized onions and that onions themselves weren’t half bad.  Onion jam, though, still did not sound like my kind of thing.  Which is why I forced myself to make it.

And you know what? It’s good.  It starts with caramelized onions, so it has to be.  I didn’t make mine overly sweet because that just didn’t sound appealing to me at all.  I stuck with a more savory application and got the onions drunk on wine and vinegar.  (And I know drunk onions are good, because I WILL take those on my burger.) The jam was great on its own, on a slice of bread, and we also used leftovers to make grilled salami and gouda cheese sandwiches one night.


Onion Jam

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1 Tbsp. butter
2 large or 3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 sprig thyme
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Heat the butter over medium heat and then add the onions and thyme.  Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Add the sugar and a little salt, and continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until deeply golden brown.  Stir in the red wine and balsamic vinegar.  Continue cooking until the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture has thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 10, 2011 at 5:33 am

I think it would be hard to really, truly and seriously dislike caramelized onions. I mean, they are sweet and buttery almost…and melt in your mouth. As I’m sure this jam does as well! I think it’s an awesome 30×30 pick!


branny March 10, 2011 at 6:08 am

Yep. I’m making this on Saturday.


bellini March 10, 2011 at 6:16 am

Onion jam is something I need to add to my bucket list. You make it sound so appealing and on a burger it would out of this world.


Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa March 10, 2011 at 8:01 am

I’ve never heard of onion jam before! Might have to give this a try.


Joan Nova March 10, 2011 at 8:44 am

Too funny, my experience with onions is exactly the same as yours. It’s never been a go-to vegetable here but I’m sure I would enjoy that jam.


Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul March 10, 2011 at 10:05 am

I adore onion jam…I add fennel to mine and ouzo and slather it over lamb sandwiches!


Briana March 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

I had pickled onions for the first time last weekend and LOVED them. I cannot wait to try this jam! Thanks for sharing!


Jen @ BeantownBaker.com March 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

That sandwich sounds good. And nice work crossing something off your list!


Claudie March 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm

My husband adores onions, so I think I’ll surprise him with your jam this weekend :)


Banana Wonder March 11, 2011 at 2:18 am

Loving this onion jam! My Aunt is southern Californian is the accountant for a small onion company.. whenever I see her she brings me 50 lbs bags of onions. I should made jam next time. YUM!


Leah (So, How's It Taste?) March 11, 2011 at 8:31 am

This onion jam sounds fantastic! I’m bookmarking your page and making some to top a grilled burger. Yum!


Ivy March 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

This sounds wonderful. I have to try it. I’ve made caramelized onions before for burgers and pork chops so I am sure that I will love this. How long can this be preserved?


elly March 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

Ivy, I’m not 100% sure how long it would keep but I’d guess 2 weeks or so, given the vinegar will act as a natural preservative.


Stephanie March 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I’m with Ivy, I know I’ll LOVE this, cause anything onion works for me!! I’d like to be able to make a big batch of this and save to have on hand. Thanks for sharing!!


Shawnda March 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I have this bookmarked to try. It would be killer on burger night. And I bet it’s going to go great with brie, too.


Laura March 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm

That sounds really good! I’m already dreaming up things I could put this on.


Kim Reddin aka the Onionista March 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Elly, love your post and really enjoyed reading all the comments here!
It great to see people who love onions and who are still learning about all they have to offer!


Beth March 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Made it today. It’s fantastic!! Super easy. I substituted agave nectar for the brown sugar and it worked out fine. Thanks for the recipe!!


elly March 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

So glad you liked it, Beth!


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