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Overhead shot of caramelized onion dip in a basket with Fritos.

Caramelized Onion and Fennel Dip with Goat Cheese

This Caramelized Onion and Fennel Dip with Goat Cheese is a rich, savory, and slightly sweet homemade version of your favorite party dip.

Course Sides and Snacks
Keyword absinthe, caramelized onions, dips, fennel, food and drink pairing, picnic recipes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6
Author Megan Wells

Ingredients

  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil enough to cover the bottom of the sauté pan
  • 3 large onions thinly sliced
  • 4 fennel bulbs cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved for later
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + to taste
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper grind whole peppercorns in a spice grinder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil (1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on your skillet’s size) in a large heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and fennel and stir to coat.
  2. Keep stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add salt and continue to cook for 30 more minutes to an hour, stirring every couple of minutes. You want the onions and fennel to start sticking a little to the pan and getting brown but you’ll want to stir them enough that they don’t burn.
  3. If the onions and fennel are getting really dry or are close to burning you can add a little water to the pan or more olive oil (you can also use broth, wine, or bourbon).
  4. Keep going until the onions and fennel are a rich brown color. Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a bowl and let them come to room temperature.
  5. In a food processor, pulse the goat cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper, and Chinese Five Spice blend until smooth and well blended.
  6. Pulse and blend the caramelized onions and fennel to the cheese mixture a half cup at a time until you like the taste* and the dip is cohesive and smooth. At some times, it will look coagulated, like the oils, solids, and liquids won’t come together.

Recipe Notes

This is a sort of “non-recipe” because it’s made from the leftovers of this Caramelized Fennel & Onion Skillet Pizza

The caramelized onions and fennel and the goat cheese mixture make enough for 2 to 3 pizzas.

I made one pizza and then blended the rest of the ingredients together to make this dip. So, the ratio of onions and fennel to cheese was about the same as if I started the dip without making the pizza.