Asparagus with Caramelized Onions- Serves 6

by | May 15, 2024 | Recipes, Tips

Caramelization is another term for “browning”. It is a low and slow cooking technique that capitalizes upon sugars naturally found in foods. Caramelization coaxes out naturally sweet taste by creating many new, and more complex, flavor molecules.

tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, sliced about 1/8 inch thick [about 2 cups sliced]

lbs. asparagus, trimmed

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

¼ teaspoon sea salt, to taste

fresh black pepper, to taste

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. When oil shimmers, add onions and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and caramel in color, about 25-30 minutes.

While onions are cooking add about an inch of lightly salted water to a large skillet and bring it to a boil. [Alternatively use a large pot with a steamer insert or skillet with a steamer basket]  Add asparagus, cover, and boil/steam until asparagus is tender crisp, anywhere from 5-8 minutes depending on the size of the stalks. Use tongs to remove asparagus to a plate.

Once onions are deeply browned turn off the heat and stir in vinegar, salt, pepper, and optional Dijon mustard. Add the asparagus spears to the pan and use tongs to toss and evenly coat. Balance taste with an additional splash of vinegar or olive oil, and/or a pinch of salt if needed.

                                                                                                     Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved

Chef C’s Cooking Tip: If you don’t have a big enough pan or stovetop space roasting is another delicious way to cook asparagus. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss spears with a little olive oil and salt and spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast for 5-8 minutes until just tender.


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