Raw onions are harsh and biting, but they can be tamed. Coddle them, warm them slowly and gently, and they will become your sweet things; your loyal rescued feral dog, the embittered old man who cuts you a flower from his garden.
At times the pure sweetness of those languid strands, though hard won, is annoying. It is McMurphy after the lobotomy: well-behaved and person-less. Relieve them of the burden of kindness: give them back their angry soul with crushed red pepper.
Slather them on your burger, smear them across your toast, smother that pallid steamed cauliflower with their fiery venom. Allow them to tell your story.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium; add the onions and salt and cook, stirring often, 15 minutes. Stir in the pepper– more or less, depending on your state of mind– and cook until the onions are soft and golden, about another 5-7 minutes.
Makes a scant 2 cups