Prickly Pear Onion Jam

This recipe comes from a wonderful cookbook called The Prickly Pear Cookbook by Carolyn Niethammer. The original recipe calls for red-wine vinegar, but I had made some Mexican elderberry (Sambucus mexicana) vinegar previously, so used that instead. A whole chicken was rubbed with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, thyme, pasilla powder, green chili powder, and salt (pasilla powder and green chili powder came from Native Seed/SEARCH in Tucson, AZ). The Prickly Pear Onion Jam is shown in the photo on top of a slice of heirloom melon. The melon and purslane (Portulaca oleracea ) were purchased at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Be sure to load up with lots of purslane, as not only is it delicious…but it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids and melatonin. You can click here to read current research published in the Journal of Pineal Research.

Prickly Pear Onion Jam

3 medium red onions, sliced thinly
1/4 c shallots, minced
1 T garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 T orange zest
3/4 c prickly pear syrup
1/4 c elderberry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar

Quarter onions and slice thinly. Heat oil over medium heat and combine onions, shallots and garlic. Stir for about 3 minutes, then cover pan and turn down to low. Cook for about 30 minutes, until mixture becomes sweet. Add small amounts of water if necessary, to keep from burning. Add orange zest, prickly pear syrup, and elderberry vinegar and cook uncovered until liquid evaporates. Stir frequently. Pour into jars, storing in refrigerator or plunging into hot water bath for seal.

2 replies
  1. amy ate it
    amy ate it says:

    turned out terrible. nothing like jam. the way the picture looks i should a browned white onions in butter. i have a lot of vinegar onions if anyone’s hungry!

  2. sunny
    sunny says:

    hey amy!

    bummer about the jam…the color comes from the prickly pear syrup. did you have the prickly pear syrup? the sugar in that also helps in carmelization. keep experimenting!

    cheers, ~sunny


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