Caramelized Onion and Lemon Marmalade

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Serve this delicious sweet-sour marmalade with any savory dish or with toast and cheese. It also goes well with scrambled eggs or tofu.

NotesRemove the lemon zest before juicing the lemon. It’s easiest to strip the zest with a vegetable peeler and then chop it on a cutting board with a sharp knife.


Folklore abounds about how to prevent the painful eye irritation caused by sulfurous onion fumes. Some people say it helps to hold the non-striking end of a kitchen match in your teeth, while others believe the trick is to wet your forearms with water. I’ve also heard recommendations to burn a candle to “distract” the sulfur or to leave the root end of the onion intact while cutting the rest of the bulb. These exotic techniques may be effective in some cases, but I’ve got one that I guarantee will work. Just put the peeled onion in the freezer about an hour before you intend to cut it, then cut it in its semifrozen state, using a very sharp knife.

Preparation Time10 min

Preparation Time - Text10 minutes

Cooking Time35 min

Cooking Time - Text35

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationvegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesweet, tangy

Type of DishCondiments


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4 cups minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemon zest


  1. Place a medium to large skillet over medium heat and wait about 2 minutes. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion, sauté for 5 minutes, then cover the pan and lower the heat.

  2. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time. Stir in the salt and vinegar. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar and cook, uncovered, for about 5 more minutes.

  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the lemon zest. Cool to room temperature, then pack into a tightly capped jar. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Serve cold or at room temperature.


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