Sunday, 11 September 2011

Know Your Onions

When I spoke to my mum last Saturday, she told me that her garden had had a particularly good crop this summer and she'd ask my brother to drop off a few things when he came back to London.  Now my parents have a fabulous garden: my mum grows flowers; my dad grows vegetables. We're hoping to get lots of tips when we get a garden of our own.

But I was still very surprised to receive a huge box of vegetables including a sack of big fat carrots, lots of juicy conference pears, potatoes in soil, runner beans and this huge plait of onions which is over a meter long.  My lovely mum also gave us 2 huge slabs of banana cake and almond cake, but that's a different story.

So I decided to make onion marmalade using this recipe (adapted from things I found on the internet based on things I had in my cupboard):

  • 6 large onions
  • 2 Tbsp Mustard seeds
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp muscovado brown sugar
  • Knob of butter
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Salt
Peel and chop the onions into small thin slices and cook slowly in a little butter and the seasoning on a medium heat until the onions start to become translucent. (This will probably take around 30 minutes).

Then add the mustard seeds and bay leaves and continue to cook until any liquid is reduced and the onions start to "catch" on the bottom of the pan.

While the onions are cooking whisk together the vinegar and sugar.  Add the mixture to the onions and stir frequently, until the sugar caramelises and becomes thick and syrupy. The onions should turn a rich dark brown colour when this is done (probably another 10-15 minutes).

 Ladle into a sterilised jar or eat it up hot. Went down a treat with The Boyfriend served on sourdough with some goats cheese. I had the same with the addition of some prosciutto. Dee-lish-ous!

But what to do with the rest?  Its a real treat to have fresh vegetables from the garden and a shame to waste anything. Let me know if you've got any great recipe ideas.

See you soon

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