Miss Margie’s Magic Onions (or: How to Caramelized Onions)

by Marge Perry on August 8, 2011

Jack had his beans and Alice had her ‘shrooms: I have my magic onions. They don’t start out as being magical—no, these onions come from the grocery store or farmer’s market looking as ordinary as all the rest. They may be yellow onions or white, red or Vidalia; but ultimately, they will end up with the power to transform the most ordinary dish into a sublime experience and a muddled tasting mess into a sensory indulgence.

Unlike bacon and butter which share this incredible transformative power, however, you will not wear my Magic Onions around your waist, nor will they cause your buttocks to curdle. My Magic Onions have very few calories, little fat, and even boast nutrients. (Take that, nutritionally vacuous Bacon!)

After I tell you how to make your very own magic onions, I will tell you one of the many wonderful things you can do with them: make Peach, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Bruschetta.

I must warn you, though: as magical as these onions are, they cannot do everything. They won’t turn beach sand into bars of gold, but they can turn a store-bought pizza crust and a sprinkling of fresh rosemary into a spectacular appetizer. You cannot get someone (who has not tasted your cooking) to suddenly fall madly in love with you, but you can turn mayonnaise and sour cream into a frighteningly addictive (we’re talkin’ meth-like) sweet onion dip.

All you need do is caramelize your onions. That’s right, cook them slowly over  medium heat until all that bad-ass sharpness of theirs just melts away, leaving behind earthy sweetness that makes everything a little – or a lot– better.


Caramelized Onion (Or, Miss Margie’s Magic Onions)

1 tablespoon canola or olive oil

3 cups thinly sliced or chopped onions (about two baseball-size onions)

  1. Heat the oil over medium in a large skillet. Add the onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until light brown, translucent and very tender, about 21 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Makes 1 1/4 cups



Peach, Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Bruschetta

When peaches aren’t at their peak, use tomatoes, plums, mango or any other fruit. If you are not a fan of blue cheese, these are also delicious with feta. The caramelized onion, though, is irreplaceable.

16 slices 1/2-inch thick slices French (baguette) bread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/4 cups caramelized onion (see recipe above)

3 peaches, cut in 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper to taste

8 basil leaves, cut in thin strips

  1. Brush the top side of each slice of bread with olive oil; toast until lightly crisped.
  2. Combine onions, peaches, and blue cheese; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon on top of the toasted bread and garnish each bruschetta with the basil.

Makes 16 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: 106 calories, 3 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 177 mg sodium


Caramelizing onion at 11-12 minutes:

Caramelizing onion at 11-12 minutes

Caramelizing onion at 17 minutes:

Caramelizing onion at 17 minutes

Caramelized onion, finished at 21 minutes:

Caramelized onions: finished at 21 minutes

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

laurie August 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm

can you make them alone as a side dish?


Marge August 10, 2011 at 8:41 am

Absolutely! Just add a little salt and pepper– or my favorite: salt, pepper and rosemary.


Amy Nieporent August 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm

What onions (and how are they prepared) in David’s FAMOUS -and my personal favorite onion dip?


Marge August 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

These are the ones, Amy!


Kathy - Panini Happy August 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Magic onions indeed! I can’t get enough of caramelized onions. Definitely one of my favorite sandwich ingredients, as well as pasta, pizza or whatever else I might be making while I’ve got ’em on hand. :-)


Marge August 10, 2011 at 8:43 am

I LOVE these on sandwiches


Bruce Tanner August 9, 2011 at 3:26 am

Maguc onions. it brings me back to my college days, well almost. have tried caramelized onions with ricotta cheese on toasted flatbread


Marge August 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

I would love some right now! Sounds like an ideal breakfast, lunch, snack…


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. August 11, 2011 at 8:38 am

Great post Marge! That picture and recipe looks amazing


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. August 11, 2011 at 8:38 am

I’m featuring this today on my fan page..


Andi September 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thank you! I’ve always wondered how to carmelize onions. These look amazing.


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