To make the reduction, use the ratio of 4:1. Four parts of vinegar will yield one part of the reduced liquid. 1 cup of vinegar will produce 1/4 cup of syrup, which will make enough salad dressing for four meals.
I reduce a gallon at a time to create 4 eight ounce squeeze bottles. That amount lasts us months. To reduce that much liquid using a low flame can take six to eight hours.
The onion jam can be refrigerated in airtight containers for a week or frozen for a month. Used as a base to make pasta sauces, soups or braises, the onions add a depth of flavor and sweetness.
In the Basque region of Spain, where pintxos, open faced sandwiches, are popular, room temperature onion jam is spread on grilled bread as the base for imaginative toppings that include charred red and green peppers, fresh wild arugula and quick fried thin strands of green cabbage.
2 pounds yellow onions, washed, ends and skin removed
Sea salt and ground pepper
Thinly slice the onions the long way, from stem to root. Heat a large pot over a low flame. Add the onions. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Stir frequently with a wooden spoon. Because the onions render slowly, it is helpful to have other things to do in the kitchen. As the onions cook, they give off their liquid. Stir the onions around in the liquid to coat.
Remove from the heat. Let cool and use or refrigerate.
Delicious any time of their season, ripe tomatoes are one of nature's wonders. Eaten fresh from the garden, few vegetables can compare with the rich flavor of a summer ripened tomato. For a cook wanting to avoid using oils and for anyone who wants to steer clear of commercially processed food, tomatoes are a great blessing.
With very little effort, roasted tomatoes give up a delicious liquid that can be used as the basis for a salad dressing, soups, pasta sauce and braised dishes.
It's that easy.
4 pounds ripe, farmers market tomatoes, washed, stems removed
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Place the whole tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with nonstick parchment or a Silpat sheet (available in most supermarkets and specialty stores like Sur Le Table or William Sonoma).
Bake one hour or until the tomatoes begin to sag. Remove and let cool.
To create the first lighter liquid, place the tomatoes in the strainer or food mill over a non-reactive bowl and gently press down. That will release the clear or lighter liquid. Remove, cover and refrigerate.
Place the bowl back under the strainer or food mill and vigorously press the tomatoes until all the liquid and pulp have passed through leaving only the skin and seeds behind.
Remove, cover and refrigerate.
Tomato Essence Salad Dressing
1/4 cup first pressing tomato essence
1 tablespoon reduced balsamic syrup
Sea salt and black pepper
Substitute the tomato essence for olive oil and mix well with reduced balsamic syrup. Season with sea salt and black pepper.