In a large, shallow pot, melt the butter. Add the onion slices and cloves and season with salt. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are very soft but not browned, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add water by the tablespoon if the onions get too dry before they’re soft. Discard the cloves.
The compote can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
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