For the past few years I’ve been buying pomegranates at Thanksgiving and sprinkling their lovely ruby seeds atop a salad or a platter of green beans.
(The stories and legends of the pomegranate are fascinating. As for how to get those seeds out without a huge mess, I learned the secret technique from my Middle Eastern ancestors….. Just kidding! Really, I learned the “secret” techniques of pomegranate de-seeding on YouTube)
Pomegranate seeds are a feast for the senses with their gorgeous shiny color, crunchy-juicy texture and a sweet-tart flavor.
So every year, I say I will keep buying them after Thanksgiving. But do I? No. I forget about them until the next November.
I love Thanksgiving foods (This year, joining my family and new grandchild in Berkeley, our vegetarian Thanksgiving featured chile rellenos stuffed with garlic mashed potatoes and cheese, along with many more traditional sides) — and often say I’ll make these foods again through the year, but I rarely do.
However, there was an exception to that rule this year: Sweet and sour caramelized red onions.
I discovered these in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. My daughter-in-law Tara has been a huge fan of the Smitten Kitchen blog for years, and her enthusiasm is contagious. I bought the cookbook for her when I was in Berkeley and spent some time (when not admiring or holding baby Levi) browsing through the book. The photo for grilled cheese sandwiches on rye with these caramelized red onions oozing out looked not only delicious but also easy, so I cooked some up in Zak and Tara’s kitchen and …..Yum. We had them again with the Thanksgiving leftovers, and I realized this condiment was definitely a keeper.
So back home, I bought some large red onions and set out to make it again. What I love about this recipe is that it’s so easy. And so good!
Just halve and thinly slice a red onion.
Heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Then sprinkle the onion with 2 teaspoons of brown sugar and a dash of salt, lower the heat to medium low and cook another 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Finally, add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, tossing the onions around with a spoon. Simmer another one or two minutes, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
You could pretty much gobble up these onions straight from the pan (my friend Nia says they are “like crack”), but I’ve managed to scoop them into a container to put in the fridge so we could eat them with chicken or avocados or put them on cheese sandwiches, grilled or cold. They would be delicious alongside turkey or with tofu. With practically anything, really (or by themselves). This morning I put them in a frittata with roasted red peppers and feta cheese. Another winner.
Since I’ve been home, just a little over a week, I’ve made this recipe twice and have resolved to keep some of these onions in my fridge — usually, if not always.
I can already tell I’m going to do a lot better keeping this resolution than I’ve done with the pomegranates.