Heat oil in a medium skillet, add onions. Cover and cook on very low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft but not brown, for about 15 minutes.
While onions are cooking prepare lemons: Squeeze the juice from the lemons and reserve. Scrape out membranes and cut the rinds into 1/4 inch strips. Put in a small pan and cover with cold water; bring to a boil, then pour out the water. Repeat twice, boiling up the rind for a total of 3 times. When the onions are tender, add the drained lemon strips, lemon juice, water, sugar, salt and thyme. Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until most of the liquid is reduced and onions and lemons are glazed. Put up in a glass jar. Store in refrigerator for up to a month.
Makes 1 3/4 cups
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