baked zucchini and caramelized onion dip

June 14, 2013 § 38 Comments

Recently I saw a post on Reclaiming your Castle for baked zucchini.  Her post struck a cord with me because when I was 18 years old living in my first apartment and not knowing much about cooking, I would go to the market and bring home random vegetables not knowing what in the world I was going to do with them. I knew I couldn’t go wrong with zucchini.  As a little girl I loved zucchini.  I remember walking through my dad’s garden and  selecting one zucchini and asking my mom to cook it for me.  Kindly and patiently she sliced it into rounds, boiled and put a pat of butter on it.  I sat at the dining room table all alone enjoying my little bowl of comfort.  There was a time when boiling vegetables (a little too much) was the default recipe for getting them on the table for a houseful of hungry folks.  Therefore, at 18 years old when I discovered a breaded and baked zucchini recipe I was intrigued and knew it was going to be the first vegetable I wanted to learn to cook, rather than boil.  And I remember cooking it over and over again.  I used an egg dip, seasoned italian bread crumbs and dotted each one of  them with butter before baking in a preheated 425° oven for approximately 25 minutes until nice and crispy.   Revisiting this recipe after two decades (or so!) was like walking back into that little apartment kitchen.

This is a great side dish for the little ones around your table.  Please visit Sara’s site for a more detailed recipe!


What really made these delicious was the caramelized onion dip.  I followed Sara’s recipe with one minor change.  I used greek yogurt rather than mayonnaise.  Don’t get me wrong, I love mayonnaise.  I didn’t have enough in house and I happened to have a full tub of yogurt.  Honestly, this is the same recipe I make for our potato chips while we are watching games during football season.

c a r a m e l i z e d   o n i o n   d i p

  • 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 cup greek yogurt

Melt the butter in a non stick pan over moderate heat.  Add the sweet onion slices and cook stirring occasionally until the onion softens and caramelizes.  This should take between 20 and 25 minutes, on medium-low heat.  When the onions are a nice brown hue and caramelized remove from heat and cool.

Place the onions, vinegar, honey and mustard in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Place in a serving bowl and stir in the yogurt.

Serves 4.

buon appetite.


caramelized onions and hamburgers

May 13, 2013 § 25 Comments

This is simply delicious.  I love to make a nice spicy sauce for our buns and top with caramelized sweet onions.  This evening I served these with roasted potatoes, garlic aioli and a power green salad, which consisted of baby spinach, mizuna, chard and kale.


s p i c y   p i n k   s a u c e

  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (tapatio or cholula)

Put all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt.  Mix with a fork until smooth.  Set aside, perhaps in the refrigerator.

h a m b u r g e r s   a n d   c a r a m e l i z e d   o n i o n s


  • 1 pound of good quality ground chuck
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, sliced into rings
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 large juicy tomato, sliced
  • handful of lettuce of your choice
  • 4 sesame buns


Start your barbecue.  I use a briquette grill so I need to get it going first.  You may use a grill pan on the stove, lightly brushed with olive oil.

Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil to a nonstick skillet and fry the onions over low heat until they are golden and sticky.  Add the thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt and continue to fry stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 15 minutes until they get a little crisp.

Put the ground chuck, parsley and egg in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Remove your rings and mix well with your hands and shape into four large flat patties.  The should be about 4 inches in diameter and not more than 3/4 inch thick.

Grill the patties over a hot grill until they are nicely browned.  Make sure they don’t get smoked and try not to allow them to dry out by cooking too long.  They should be cooked through but moist and juicy.  If you prefer to have a cheese burger, cover your patty with a slice of cheese and let it melt.  Gouda or gorgonzola is a nice cheese to use.

Place all of your condiments on the table in separate bowls.  Heat the buns on the grill of a couple of seconds.  Put the patties inside the buns and serve right away, letting everyone around your table make their own by adding sauce, tomatoes, lettuce and warm onions as they like.


r o a s t e d  p o t a t o e s

  • 3 russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°.  Cut your potatoes into your desired shape and place in a large bowl.  Add olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper to the bowl and toss well to fully coat the potatoes.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until nice and brown, approximately 45 minutes.  Make sure to give the baking sheet a shake now and again and turn your potatoes over for even browning.

The  g a r l i c  a i o l i  I made was a very simple version I discovered a few years back.  I just use mayonnaise with a little olive oil and a few pressed garlic cloves.  Sometimes I add different herbs to add another nice flavor.

Serves 4

buon appetite.

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