A while ago I asked B. what was the single ingredients that he couldn’t do without. It was a long debate (it was meant to be, we do like being argumentative) and the main contenders that emerged were 3. First up, tomatoes. Ah, tomatoes. The fragrant, fresh, juicy tomato. What would be the world be without you? What would pasta do? Pizza would (almost) not be worth eating, and meatballs would have no puddle to swim in. Then, potatoes. A staple food for so many people, here in northern Europe. Versatile and filling, almost essential to make a winter dish worthy of its name and season. Without potatoes, gravy would be an orphan and fish would have no chips. And then, just as we were debating (tomatoes or potatoes?), the sudden smell of onions shallow fried in butter hit me, and I knew. So many wonderful, filling and homely dishes start with fried onions. Soups, stews, currys, sauces. Could you, dear readers, imagine a world without onions?

Ham sandwich with honey and mustard onions

Adapted, of all places, from the wonderful “The Exotic Meat Cookbook“. Enough for two proper sandwiches.

2 tbsp butter
about 500 gr onions, finely sliced (I used two small shallots, 1 big yellow onion and 1 small-medium red onion)
pinch of salt
2 heaped tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
bread and ham

Heat the butter on low heat in a non-stick pan, add the onions and salt and cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring every now and then. The onions should first soften, then become translucent, and only then start to brown,  just about. Don’t be tempted to increase the heat. After said time, add the honey and mix gently. Cook for a further 10 minutes, turn the heat off and add both types of mustard, mixing until evenly distributed. Assemble the sandwiches: slice the bread, add the sliced ham and the onions, and eat.