Sweated Onions


If I had to choose one basic ingredient I absolutely could not do without, rich, succulent Sweated Onions would win hands down. Sweating does not give you the sharp drama of fried onions. It’s more the sweet, rich surprise of onions inside battered, deep-fried onion rings. If an onion is very dry, it probably won’t sweat well. I like sweet onions best, like a Vidalia or Texas Sweet. They support so many fabulous dishes I couldn’t possibly list them all. But we’ll make them one by one—I promise. SAM

4 large onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a large chef’s pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil until a piece of onion lightly sizzles. Add the onions, reduce the heat to low, cover, and sweat until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Use in soups, stews, salads, and gratins. Pile on bruschetta, mix with couscous, or spread on flatbread or savory pastry.
Makes about 2 cups.

3 Responses to Sweated Onions

  1. […] can go wild with combinations of fresh peppers in this savory summer tart. The Sweated Onions make a great palette to work off of. And with the nutty-tasting Gruyère and deceptively rich […]

  2. […] but if you don’t like the taste of raw bell pepper, onion, or garlic, you can steam or sweat them. The watermelon and beet add layers of color and sweetness nicely offset by the vinegar and […]

  3. […] a large chef’s pan over medium heat, sweat the onion in 1 tablespoon oil until translucent, stirring occasionally, about 30 […]

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