ode to onion :: liz gaudet


i met liz through the online world back while we were both pregnant. we cheered each other on during those last days while we waited for our babies to arrive. photography, health, babies and food are a few interests we share in common. i admire her authenticity and look up to her as a woman and mama! i asked her to share her experience of being passionate in the kitchen while now having a baby by her side + a yummy recipe. she's always working on the most beautiful creations you wont want to miss. you can find her on instagram

"After 26 years of life, there are three things I know for certain: being a mother trumps any job on the market, hair is okay washed once weekly and onions, when caramelized have a way of making everything (and most dishes) better.
Before having my daughter Olive, I could be found many a day, sipping on many a glass of wine, hovering for hours over the stove in whatever dwelling I was occupying at the time. I could easily spend an entire day chopping, stirring, whisking, testing, tasting, experimenting. Now flash-forward through 9 months of gestation and the 4 bonus months of keeping my little Olive alive and well. I've slowly, but surely found my way back to the kitchen. Sometimes I arrive inspired, excited, and feeling ballsy, and other times (as many mothers will know): dragging, sleep-deprived, uninspired and/or famished. Health and wholesome meals have always been an important facet of my life . But now that I have a little one, my priorities have shifted and I've had to make compromises to keep time on my side and money in my (nursing) bra. I've learned that a little forethought can go a long way. A little bit of salt, a little bit of olive oil, a little bit of heat and a few onions can go a long way and add something fanciful to the most mundane.
I believe caramelized onions should be a condiment nestled somewhere in everyone's fridge. I also believe that no matter what diet or regimen you may follow (if any), sacrificing flavor need not apply. Food is for the body, but it is also for the soul. I like to have a jar of this stuff on-hand at all times. It's something easy to do while you're doing other things because the ingredients do most of the work themselves. To caramelize an onion is a task obtainable to even those who claim "I'm not/cannot cook!" I assure you, it is as simply rich as it is richly simple that you may find the urge to toast yourself.

You will need:
- olive oil, to taste
- salt, to taste
- 4-5 yellow or white onions
- (optional) herbs (marjoram, thyme or rosemary are nice additions)
- a non-stick skillet (I love my cast-iron, but whatever you have will do. When I didn't own a skillet, I used a soup pot!)
- something to stir with (a metal spatula works great, a wooden spoon would be okay too, but if all you have is a table fork- not a worry)

The key to success with this is "slow and low". Heat a good couple glugs of olive oil over medium heat. While your oil is heating up, peel and slice your onions. I like to keep mine long and thin, rather than in rough chunks. Add the onions to the pan and turn the heat down. Add a little bit of salt to get the onions sweating. Mix and let sit over a low flame to avoid sticking and to allow the onions to sweat themselves tender and translucent. If you notice sticking, add a tiny bit of water. Not much, as to avoid onion stew. Taste as you go. Find the salt to oil to onions ratio you find tastiest. I like to throw the herbs in last with a couple of sprigs in whatever container I plan to pack it in for the sake of marination.The flavor only gets better with time. 

When hot, this is most sinful on top of plain goat cheese, served with crackers. Throw it in tacos, on sandwiches, sweet potatoes, salads, pizza, pasta with kale and breadcrumbs, or simply on its own, with a spoon in hand, standing in the light of the refrigerator after everyone has gone to bed (and you're hungry and nursing, like me)."