Allium Goo

Last year, my husband began making sourdough. Along with that he concocted another delicious treat to top the sourdough toast. I lovingly refer to it as Allium Goo. Sometimes shallots, sometimes red onions, sometimes shallots and red onions. The first time he made it, I walked into the kitchen and it smelled like Pearl Alley Bistro, the restaurant that turned us into foodies here in Santa Cruz in the ’90s. They had amazing roasted garlic and also an incredible onion tart. Both were popular on the menu so the restaurant always gloriously smelled of roasting alliums.

Here is my hubby’s recipe for shallot goo. It doesn’t take a lot of active time but it does take patience for the shallots to cook down and down and down.

Caramelized Shallot Spread

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups chopped shallots

1 cup dry white wine

¼ cup turbinado sugar

¼ cup sherry vinegar

1 tbsp salt (or to taste — I like more)

1 tsp black pepper (same here)

4 tbsp butter

Toss the shallots in a pan on medium heat with olive oil. Let cook down, stirring occasionally. When almost no liquid remains and the shallots look like they might start to burn (a little bit of dark stuff is good for flavor but fully burnt will make it bitter), add the wine and deglaze (scrape all the burny bits off the pan so they dissolve in the wine). Saving a bit of the wine for later might be good if the pan gets too dry (or just keeping the bottle handy).

After deglazing, add sugar (consider substituting some honey for a portion of the sugar), vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until almost all the liquid is gone again. Kill the heat, and stir in the butter.

Substitutions: swap whatever you want according to taste or what’s on hand. Any large allium will work in place of shallots. Any wine vinegar will work (light bodied, I wouldn’t use thick balsamic). Wine-wise, dessert wines work too, just cut back on the sugar a tad. Mixing and matching substitutions can be interesting (red onion and dry red wine works well, though my favorite is shallots with white dessert wine (tokaji is great) and sherry vinegar). You can always use more butter (a universal truth).

In a jar in the fridge, this stuff will keep for a couple weeks, but it’s usually gone within the first week in our house.