Last updated August 17, 2013

Caramelized Balsamic Onions from ZestuousThe Army has a new phrase that everyone from leaders to new recruits is saying: “Back to Basics.” I can’t tell you how many times in the past three months that I’ve heard people say, “We have to get back to basics. It’s time to get back to basics.” My husband even had a back to basics day at work Thursday.

The idea behind the expression is that now that the wars are drawing down, Soldiers need to re-focus on the basic skills that make us the best Army in the world. While our Soldiers remain trained and ready to fight, after years of deployments, sometimes a basic refresher course is due.

The same holds true for cooking. We are surrounded by chefs. From 24-hour food networks to magazines and blogs, there is so much information to absorb. Nowadays, it’s nothing for a chef to tell you to sous-vide something without explaining what that means.

I almost made that mistake with a sandwich recipe I was working on. One of the ingredients is caramelized balsamic onions. While many of you can probably whip up a batch of these with your eyes closed, I never want to leave new chefs in the dark. Plus, every now and then I forget my own recipes for the basics, so I’m going to start to include them on my blog.

And since the Army makes acronyms for EVERYTHING, I’m going to put these recipes in a new category called B2B (for back to basics). Oh and by the way, sous-vide is a technique where you cook food in a sealed plastic bag under water. One of these days I’ll give it a shot.

Bon appétit!

Caramelized Balsamic Onions

Caramelized Balsamic Onions


  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Slice the onions. Spread them apart with your fingers and place them on a rimmed sheet pan.

Drizzle the onions with the oil, vinegar, salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve. These are great on salad, burgers, sandwiches or on top of steaks.