Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recipe - Caramelized Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

(Photo: Close-up of Caramelized Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

At a recent cookie exchange, I had the pleasant first-time experience of eating a dip using Greek yogurt and caramelized onions, that's it. It was scrumptious and put the packaged onion dip mix that is mixed into sour cream to shame. So, wanting to duplicate this recipe to take to a party tonight while using some of our home-made yogurt made into Greek yogurt plus my home-made roasted peppers for a festive look, I found a few on-line recipes that I reviewed and then concocted the following:

Caramelized Onion and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

-- 1 roasted red bell pepper
-- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
-- 2 medium size white or yellow onions, peeled and then thinly sliced
-- 4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-- 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seed
-- Water for caramelizing
-- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
-- 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
-- 1-1/2 cups unflavored Greek yogurt
-- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley (finely chopped chives may also be substituted here)
-- pinch of salt and ~1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (if desired - I did add them)
-- whole grain crackers, baguette slices, or pita chips

1) Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
2) Heat the oil in the pan then add all of the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking and to allow for even cooking, until they begin to brown, ~ 10 minutes.
3) Add the garlic and the ground fennel seeds.
4) Add 1/4 cup water, continue cooking onion mixture, stirring regularly to keep onions from sticking. Add 1/4 cup water every time the mixture starts to become dry. Keep doing this until onions are soft, browned, and begin to taste slightly sweet. It may take 30-60 minutes depending on how thick or thin the onions are cut, how well the heat is distributed by your pan, etc.
5) Finally add the vinegar and thyme and cook until the vinegar has evaporated.
6) Season the onion mixture with salt and black pepper (if desired) and cool completely.
7) Drain and finely dice one roasted red pepper (I put the pepper pieces on a paper towel to make as dry as possible).
8) Once the onion mixture has cooled, place it in a food processor along with the yogurt, mix thoroughly but leave a few hunks of onion in the final mix. Fold the pepper pieces into the yogurt mixture in a large bowl, then stir in the parsley (or chives). If necessary, strain any excess liquid from the yogurt before mixing it with the peppers and onions (you can see from the photo that my yogurt was thick enough to have a spoon stand up straight!).
9) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10) If there is time, allow the flavors to blend for several hours or even overnight before serving
with whole grain crackers, baguette slices, or with pita chips.

I used our own yogurt (drained overnight using a coffee filter to make thick Greek yogurt), roasted red peppers, garlic, fennel seed, thyme and parsley, plus yellow onions from Garden Works!, which I purchased this morning at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

(Photo: Onions ready to begin caramelizing)

(Photo: Onions done caramelizing)

(Photo: Greek yogurt - see how thick it is with the spoon standing straight up? Roasted red peppers, diced small)

(Photo: Fresh herbs in my windowsill - lemon thyme and marjoram. I also have rosemary, sage, and parsley in my south-facing kitchen window during the winter months)
(Photo: Caramelized Onion and Roasted Pepper Dip, ready to eat with a sliced baguette from Mill Pond Bakery purchased at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market this morning!)

I hope your holiday season is filled with friends and family, peaceful moments, great food and kitchen smells, a little bit of snow (my older son is buried under 20+ inches in Virginia!), and enjoying the spirit of love and peace.

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Uncharted Journey said...

Diane, Have you read "Anti-Cancer - a New Way of Life" by M. Servan-Schreiber, Md, PhD? He had brain cancer twice. The book interweaves his own life story with chapters on the many ways we can complement western medicine in healing ourselves. The chapter "Anti-Cancer Foods" is excellent, and certainly brought to mind your own nutrition book. He laments how doctors are not taught the power of nutrition. It's well written, and in fact I am reading it a 2nd time because I read it too fast the first time. Besides food, he discusses the anti-cancer mind, etc.

Kateri said...

That looks and sounds yummy.

Diana Dyer said...

Yes I read Anti-Cancer - A new way of life. I agree that the book contains a lot of good information. The more books out there (like mine) that are helpful to cancer patients, the better! In addition, I hope he can impact the medical profession to require education about the importance of nutrition in medical schools, which of course is the foundation of health. Dr. Andrew Weil is committed to that goal, too.

Diana Dyer said...

Yummy, easy, healthy, plus makes the house smell wonderful while the onions are cooking, too!