Balsamic Roasted Onion Halves
It might seem like once again, I am taking the easy way out. I mean, a roasted onion? Seriously? Mark Bittman? Especially after she just received his "How to Cook Everything" in the mail, (You might be saying to yourself.)
"Summer Loving" is this week's theme for "I Heart Cooking Club" -----but it's these little guys that I'm really "loving" this summer......
They are 2 of my grandbabies, and they are staying at my house this summer, as their parents job hunt (their parents are here too, of course). So, my goal is to be very simple this summer. In my meal planning choices, that is.
The roasted onion is simple yes, but understated. It has a really sweet taste to it... not really oniony, if you get my drift. I know, how can I say that? not really oniony? A half an onion? How can that be?
I guess one must like onions to begin with....because, truthfully, this is a lot of onion to eat, and if you're not an onion liker, you're probably not even going to try this,--but if you are on the fence about onions, I suggest you try this out. It's really a good side dish to most grilled meat, sweet and at the same time savory.
I told the Handyman to pick up some "Walla Walla Sweet Onions" (our first son was born in Walla Walla, WA) but he came home with Vidalia's, which are just as good. Some people probably think they are better, BUT, I have a loyalty to Walla Walla....we lived there for two years when we were first married. It is so much more than a town they mention in Bugs Bunny cartoons.....it's the town they liked so well, they named it twice! (gawd, that's a dorky phrase.... but they say it all the time).
There is a reason that most of the United States doesn't know about "Walla Walla Sweet Onions"---they have a very short shelf life and are only available June thru September. You can find them on the west coast, but I'm not sure about the East or the South. It is a rather "small" production, I guess.
Today, about 40 growers keep the sweet tradition alive on 1,200 acres in the valley. Most plant their seeds in the fall, allowing the onions to hibernate during the winter and then harvesting them the next summer. Because the sweets contain more water than most onions, their shelf life is but three to six weeks. They're available from mid-June to September.
Check out this New York Times article on Walla Walla Sweets. And look....look at how sweet they are! Substituted for "apples" in the traditional "caramel apple" treat, at a Walla Walla festival. (show-offs). But they really are sweet. (I have no idea who these kids are... )
Anyway..... my recipe to submit............
Balsamic Roasted Onion Halves
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 onions, pealed and cut in half around the equator (Bittman's exact words)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 fresh sprigs of thyme
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a small baking or roasting pan with a little olive oil or line it with parchment paper. Put the balsamic vinegar into a large shallow dish and roll the onions around in it coat them all over. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, turning every so often. Put the onions on the prepared pan, cut side down. Roast, undisturbed until they start to turn brown, about 20 minutes. Use a spatula to turn them over, top with the Thyme if you like, then return them to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, depending on how tender you want them.
Serve hot or at room temp.
Speaking of Mark Bittman's Cookbook, "How to Cook everything", when I brought it into the house, my husband, the Handyman said to my son, "Hey, look! Mom's going to get rid of all her other cookbooks. She doesn't need them anymore, now she can cook everything!"
He's so funny....he just makes me laugh all the time.
I was trying out the "Louisiana Hot Dog Topping" from Mary at Deep Dish South too. It was good....not a chili, but a Cajun meat sauce. Head on over there for the recipe.