“To me, caramelizing onions is one of the most pleasurable acts of cooking,” explains writer Dana Bowen. “The standing and stirring and staring into the pot…inhaling the subtle changes in aroma from sweet to sweeter….” She goes on to confess that sometimes she caramelizes onions with no particular recipe or destination in mind. Hey, we’ve been there. We understand where she’s coming from. Boy, do we. Though honestly? When it comes time to find a noble purpose for caramelized onions, this onion dip recipe immediately comes to mind.–Renee Schettler Rossi
LC Beyond Boring Dippers Note
Nothing is sadder than this spectacularly inspired onion dip surrounded by nothing but spectacularly uninspired and lifeless carrot or celery sticks that were obviously languishing in the vegetable bin for weeks before being called to this lovely duty. So let’s think beyond boring dippers. Actually, let’s think beyond even lovely but expected radishes, cucumber spears, and even multicolored carrots available at farmers markets. We’re thinking cauliflower and broccoli florets, steamed new potatoes, blanched green beans, and colorful strips of bell peppers, among other vegetal goodness. Those wishing to think beyond crudités may care to consider homemade potato chips, toasted baguette slices, and those water crackers that are pricey yet possess that sturdy snap that goes so well with dips. What else can you think to slather with this onion dip? Let us know in a comment below.
Special Equipment: Restraint (so you don't inhale it all yourself)
Onion Dip Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H
- Makes about 3 1/2 cups
- 2 pounds yellow onions, half quartered lengthwise and half finely chopped
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup store bought or homemade mayonnaise
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Tabasco sauce, to taste
- 4 scallions (white and green parts), minced
- Cut raw vegetables, such as cucumbers, radishes, and carrots, plus other dippers, for serving
- 1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- 2. Place the quartered onions on the baking sheet, being careful to keep the wedges intact. Drizzle the onions with 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper, and gently turn the onions to coat, again being mindful of keeping the wedges intact. Roast the onions, turning occasionally, until softened and slightly caramelized, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your onions. Keep a careful watch toward the end of the roasting time to ensure the edges don’t scorch, which would lend a bitter taste to the finished dip. Let cool.
- 3. Purée the cooled roasted onions in a food processor until smooth. Add the mayonnaise, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, and salt and pepper to taste and purée again until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours and preferably overnight to let the flavors meld.
- 4. About 45 minutes before you want to set the dip out for guests to demolish, heat the remaining 3/4 cup oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high to medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are crisp and deep golden brown, 15 to 25 minutes more. Keep a careful watch on the onions toward the end of the cooking time, as they tend to go from perfectly golden brown and crisp to incinerated in seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a strainer set over a bowl to drain for a few moments and then place them on a brown paper bag to drain further. Reserve the oil in the bowl and skillet for another use, such as stirring into mashed potatoes or dribbling over steamed vegetables.
- 5. To finish, stir the scallions and 2/3 of the fried onions into the dip. Taste and adjust accordingly with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Transfer the dip to a serving dish, scatter the remaining fried onions on top, and serve with the raw vegetables.
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