This week at the farmers’ market: Mid-July.

It’s hot. Really hot. Like, August hot. But it’s still early July, and we have many more weeks of this to go. But I love it. I love these days filled with the tchp-tchp-tchp-tchp-tchp of sprinklers and the hum of air conditioners and the shrieks of kids at the pool up the street. I love two- or three-shower days. And I love summer food.

We made two farmers’ market excursions this weekend: to Findlay Market for our regular Saturday shopping and to the Hyde Park Farmers’ Market in search of Sunday dinner. Summer is in full swing, as evidenced by the bounty for sale this weekend: fresh-dug carrots, beets, garlic and onions; early bush beans; the very first field-grown cherry tomatoes (most of the tomatoes we’ve been seeing have been either grown in greenhouses or high tunnels).

Rob had a magnificent brainstorm as we were browsing the stalls on the square Sunday morning, inspired by the gorgeous sweet onions he espied on one table. So we made caramelized balsamic onions to go on top of grilled burgers with Maytag blue cheese and a thick slab of tomato. It was the perfect summer dinner. I’ll share the recipe for the caramelized balsamic onions below the photos.

caramelized balsamic onions
(adapted from The Jimtown Store Cookbook)

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 large or 4 small sweet onions (Vidalia or Walla Walla)
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Halve the onions pole-to-pole, and then thinly slice crosswise. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil to warm. Add onions and stir to coat with oil. Cover skillet and lower heat a bit; cook onions until they begin to soften and become translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, balsamic vinegar and a generous pinch of salt. Cover skillet and continue to cook onions, stirring often to avoid burning, until they’re dark and deeply caramelized, about 20 minutes.

5 thoughts on “This week at the farmers’ market: Mid-July.

    • Beth — yes, absolutely! They’d be great on a grilled cheese sandwich, especially if you play around with fun options beyond cheddar or American. I’m thinking maybe grilled Monterey Jack and goat cheese with balsamic onions … If you make a grilled cheese sandwich with the caramelized onions, please post here!

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