Back in November, I made a vegetable dish for a Christmas potluck. No, I'm not calendar challenged; it was the last meeting of a Bible study before the holidays. The veggies were broccoli and cauliflower, but that's not important. The key to making this side dish divine was the sauce I used. Thinking ahead about this blog, which didn't exist yet, I asked a friend to snap a pic with her iPhone.
Caramelized onion and roasted garlic sauce. I was inspired by a Rachel Ray recipe. I had the TV on for background noise while doing some chores at nap time and happened to catch a cooking segment on her show featuring a pasta recipe using these two ingredients. I had planned to make a cheese sauce for the broccoli and cauliflower, but I think God had other plans for them and sent the word through Rachel Ray! I'm so glad I happened to be listening that day (it's very rare for me to watch/read/listen to RR, just not my favorite TV/food personality) because this sauce is amazing. The sweetness of the caramelized onions and rich, buttery roasted garlic are a terrific pair, and the sauce is great for vegetables, pasta, and probably lots of other things I haven't even considered. I even had some of the leftover sauce on a baked potato; no butter, salt, pepper, sour cream or anything else.
Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Sauce
1 bulb garlic
2 sweet or yellow onions, thinly sliced
4 TBS butter
chicken or veggie broth (water would work in a pinch)
milk, half and half or cream (optional)
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Roast garlic: Cut top off bulb and remove any loose papery skin. Drizzle cut side with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and roast at 375º for 45-60 minutes.
Caramelize onions: Melt butter in heavy pan over medium heat. Add onion and toss to coat. Stir onions frequently until they are golden brown, about 30 minutes. If they brown too quickly or get dark on the edges, reduce heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze pan with about 1/4 cup of broth.
Add garlic and onions to food processor with enough broth to make smooth.
Return to pan and add 1/2 cup of milk, half and half or cream to give the sauce some body. (This amount is really to taste and depends on what you are saucing and if you want to add dairy.) Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and stir until thickened. Add Parmesan if desired.
I can imagine this sauce would be really tasty with some sautéed mushrooms added at the end and served over rice, a healthier version of the cream of mushroom soup rice I grew up loving. I would also like to try it with ricotta added at the end instead of the milk/cream. It might be an interesting filling for a white lasagna...