I’ve always thought all the members of the culinary “lily family” (onions, shallots, garlic, scallions, leeks etc…) to be the cornerstone of the culinary world. Imagine what recipes would be like without onions? They are one of the most basic, yet key ingredients in so many recipes, that it’s impossible to contemplate cooking without them.
Although onions show up just about everywhere, it’s not often that we cook (and eat!) them on their own.
Today’s recipe honors the plump bulbs in the most delicious way. Here red onions are oven-roasted with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The roasting process quickly transforms the bulbs into mellow and slightly-sweet morsels, but their essence intensifies even more as the balsamic permeates the onion layers with its own sweetness.
These lovely “lilies” make a marvelous side vegetable or condiment, but they’re also quite tasty tucked in sandwiches or salads.
Balsamic-roasted red onions
active time: 20 min
- 4 medium red onions (2 lbs) (905 g)
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 475ºF (240ºC).
- Step 1: Peel the onions, making sure to leave the root ends intact. Slice the onions in half lengthwise, right through the root end. Cut each half into 1 1/4″ slices, cutting again through the root end so that the layers of the onions stay together.
- Step 2: Place the onion slices in the roasting pan. Drizzle with the balsamic and olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Carefully toss with your fingers until the slices are well coated with the oil and spread in a single layer. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes until the onions are tender. Remove the foil. Carefully turn the onion slices over. Return to oven and bake uncovered for 15 to 20 additional minutes, until the onions are golden-brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl or platter. Use with your recipe of choice or serve as a condiment.