Monday, 15 March 2010

Caramelized Red Onion Relish and Pizza

When I saw this month’s tigress can jam choice posted on Small Measure, I thought “what’s an allium?”  Then I found out that the allium family consists of green scallions, chives, scapes, ramps, leeks, husky onions, shallots, and garlic.

So onions are alliums!  Well, why didn’t you just say so?  I like onions so I set out to find the perfect recipe. 

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I found several recipes for onion marmalades, chutneys and relish. I couldn’t quite wrap my taste buds around the idea of an onion marmalade yet so I skipped over that one.  I wasn’t ready to make chutney either so I scratched that one off the list – for now.

Then, I found a recipe for onion relish in The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving. The relish sounded pretty good, but I wondered what in the world to eat it with!

Just so happens, the authors provided the perfect solution; use it as a pizza topping.  I like pizza so I decided this recipe was the ticket.

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Caramelized Red Onion Relish

From The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving 
Makes: 2 cups


  • 2 large red onions, peeled
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup dry red wine (I used Shiraz)
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground pepper


Slice onions into very thin slices.  Combine onions and sugar in a heavy non-stick skillet.

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Cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes or until onions turn golden and start to caramelize, stirring frequently.

Stir in wine and vinegar.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

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Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Spoon into a clean wide-mouth jar and cool briefly.

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Remove hot jars from canner and ladle relish into jars to within 1/2 inch of rim (headspace). I used one pint-size jar.  I had a little bit left over so I refrigerated it to use on the pizza.

Process 10 minutes for half-pint jars or 15 minutes for pint jars.  If you live in a higher altitude or need more detailed instructions on water-bath canning, please refer to the instructions at the National Center for Home Preservation.


Caramelized Red Onion & Tomato Pizza

Makes: 24 appetizers (or one medium pizza)


  • 1/2 cup Caramelized Red Onion Relish
  • 4 individual pizza crusts (or one medium) I used Artisan Bread in Five Minutes Olive Oil Dough for the crust
  • 1 medium tomato, diced (I sliced it instead)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or enough to cover the pizza)


Divide onion mixture among pizza crust(s), spreading evenly.  Combine tomato and cheese, sprinkle over onion.  Bake in a 350 degrees F. oven for about 10 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.  Cut each pizza into 6 wedges or however you prefer.

I baked the crust for 5 minutes, then topped it with the onion, tomato and cheese.

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I didn’t mix the tomato and cheese.  I just layered the onions, then the tomatoes, then the cheese and baked the pizza another 5 minutes or so until the cheese was melted.

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My BF and I had the pizza for dinner rather than as an appetizer. I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but it was really good!  The onions have a slightly sweet fermented flavor that blended really well with the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  I added some Italian seasoning to my slice which rounded out the flavor.  My BF added hot sauce to his.

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We enjoyed this relish on the pizza, but I also think it would go really well with hamburgers, hotdogs or other types of sandwiches.  Good thing because I have a pint of it to use up.

We're making jams or pickling every month in 2010. For more info, go to tigress' Can Jam.  Be sure to check out the March Can Jam Roundup.

Happy Canning and Baking!


Here are some of the references I use in my canning adventures. You might enjoy them as well:

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