Monday, 31 May 2010


Happy Memorial Day!

Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Onions, 1881

My recipe for "caramelized onion dip" is very apropos for a Memorial Day get together, and the ingredients, such as Greek yoghurt and fresh vegetables, are undeniably on the healthier side of living.

To caramelise onions, one has to cook them slowly for a long time. As they caramelise their natural sugars break up and mix with the onions, giving them a lovely brown colour. The onions turn sweet and flavourful. This dip is not hard to make at all, and it's hands down better than the ready-made storebought variety. You can even caramelise the onions ahead of time. You'll be dipping your crunchy vegetables in it and loving the taste! 


4 tablespoons olive oil
4 large onions, diced
sage leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 cloves garlic finely minced1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt, either 2% or total fat 
1/2 cup sour cream or omit the sour cream and only use 2 cups of yoghurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for sprinkling
raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, etc

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over low to medium heat. Add the onions and the sage plus the brown sugar and cook, stirring often. 
  • Make sure to keep stirring so that the onions don't burn. Keep a few drops of water handy to add to the onions if they become too dry. 
  • Cook about 20 to 30 minutes until the onions are caramelised, then add the minced garlic and stir for another two or minutes.
  • To deglaze the pan, add the balsamic vinegar and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Place the onions in a bowl and let them cool for about 45 minutes.  
  • Mix the yoghurt with the sour cream, lemon juice, and the cayenne pepper. Add it to the onions and stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate the dip for 1 to 2 hours.  To decorate the top sprinkle it with some cayenne pepper and a few chopped sage leaves. If you like, reserve a tablespoon of caramelised oninons and use it for garnish along with the sage and cayenne.  
  • Serve the dip surrounded with the vegetables.