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black pepper balsamic walla walla onion jam

(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)

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My friend Marisa grew up in Portland, Oregon, and went to school at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington but she's living in Philadelphia -- a continent removed from the amazing Walla Walla sweet onions we take for granted here. She was mourning this on Twitter, and I remembered seeing them for 69 cents a pound at the produce market up the street, so I bought a huge quantity and got to jamming. Now I'm ready to send a pint to her in exchange for something yummy from the East Coast. As always, my quantities are not measured reliably so you'll want to use your own judgment and adjust if it seems wrong to you. Of course, it's kind of hard to ruin this as long as you cook the onions down to the right sweetness.


  1. 4 to 5 lb. Walla Walla sweet onions
  2. 2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil or lard (I have a lot of lard)
  3. 1 to 2 tsp. sea salt
  4. 1 Tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
  5. ½ cup honey
  6. ½ cup balsamic vinegar


  1. Peel and slice the onions thinly.
  2. In a large, wide-bottomed stainless steel pot, heat the oil or lard.
  3. Add the onions and salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently and adding a bit more oil as necessary, for 60-90 minutes, until deep golden brown.
  4. Stir in black pepper, honey and balsamic vinegar. Cook over low heat until flavors meld.
  5. Ladle into canning jars, cover, and process in a hot water bath for 30-40 minutes.