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“Part of our menu is devoted to dishes people can get almost instantly upon sitting down, and this is one of them. We roast the onions in a wood-fired oven. The darker and more caramelized they get, the sweeter they become, and every element in this recipe works to balance that. The thyme, of course, adds an herbal component that goes so well with onions. When creating the restaurant, I wanted a fine-dining approach to food and service but a relaxed atmosphere. We put professional touches on everything but want the guests to feel like they can let loose a little. And who doesn’t love a good chip-and-dip?”


Who Kevin Johnson, executive chef/owner

Where The Grocery, in Charleston, South Carolina



3 tablespoons butter 

1 pound onions, thinly sliced

3 sprigs thyme, picked and minced

¼ cup buttermilk 

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup Duke’s mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 

salt and pepper



1. Warm butter in a large skillet, then add onions and thyme. Slowly caramelize onions over low heat until deep, dark brown. Add ¼ cup water, and scrape bottom of pan. Let cool.

2. In a blender, puree above mixture with buttermilk. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, and vinegar, then blend until smooth. If needed, adjust acidity with more vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.



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