How To Roast Onions So They’re Sweet, Soft & Creamy
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Today, inspired by the main sponsor of Flavors of Summer, The Vidalia Onion Board, I’m going to show you how to roast onions in a way that makes them soft and creamy and super-versatile.
As I reached into my dry goods cupboard for my bag of garlic, my hand scrubbed against a big mesh sack of Vidalia onions.
“Hmmm,” I thought. “What if I roast some sweet onions the same way I was going to roast the garlic.”
A couple of hours later, my mind was swimming sweetly in onion-y inspirations.
What I discovered: When you trim the ends off a sweet onion, drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, touch it with thyme, wrap it tightly in foil and then roast it for 90 minutes, the result is a creamy soft center so sweet that it can be eaten straight out of the foil or used in a hundred different ways.
Since first attempting to roast onions in this way, I have:
-Tossed soft onion petals with linguine and olive oil for an easy side dish;
-Mashed the roasted onions with butter, salt and pepper and spread it onto grilled bread;
-Added a purée of the roasted onions to gravy and to chili;
-Used the purée warm on its own as a (vegan-friendly!) gravy;
-Smeared it into mashed potatoes;
-Puréed it and served it as a dip for veggies (see picture above);
-And drizzled it with maple syrup and served it alongside grilled salmon;
I’m going to stop now. But honestly, I’ve been roasting and eating these onions like mad. They’re so deliciously versatile that I can’t stop.
Today I’m going to share the basic method for how to roast onions. And then, after I’ve had a chance to experiment some more, I’ll bring you some recipes that use the roasted Vidalia onions.
How to Roast Onions So They’re Sweet, Soft and Creamy
1) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Trim both ends off of a Vidalia onion and then set the onion on one of its cut ends on a piece of foil.
2) Drizzle the onion with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Snuggle in a few sprigs of thyme if you have them (a good pinch of dried thyme leaves are fine here too).
3)Wrap the onion tightly in foil and place it in a baking pan. Repeat with as many Vidalia onions as you’d like to roast.
4) Roast for about 90 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the onion smooshes in very easily.
5) Remove foil from the onions, but be careful – sometimes there is a bit of onion broth that has come out of the onions. Don’t spill it or discard it. It can be used to flavor dips, soups, sauces ,etc. Let the onions sit until they’re cool enough to touch.
6) Remove and discard the skins from the onions. (Sometimes there is an additional layer of onion that got a bit dry as well. If this has happened, discard this dry outer layer too. A bit of browning around the edges is fine. It’s a tough, dry, difficult to mash layer that we want to avoid).
7) Discard the thyme and you’re ready to use your roasted onions in all sorts of delicious ways.
Now that you know how to roast onions, will you add them to a dish or eat them as is?
If you love sweet Vidalia onions, you might also want to jump over and grab my baked bloomin’ onion recipe.
Here are printable instructions on how to roast onions
How to Roast Onions
Super easy but full of flavor. Roasting Vidalia onions the way you roast garlic yields a soft and smooth texture and lovely sweet and mild onion flavor. The instructions here are for one onion but you can do 2 or 3 at a time (last time, I used 6!).
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, with peel on
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
- 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Trim both ends off of a Vidalia onion and then set the onion on one of its cut ends on a piece of foil.
- Drizzle the onion with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Snuggle in the sprigs of thyme (or sprinkle with the dried thyme) .
- Wrap the onion tightly in foil and place it in a baking pan.
- Roast for about 90 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the onion smooshes in very easily.
- Remove foil from the onions, but be careful - sometimes there is a bit of onion broth that has come out of the onions (this is especially true of the larger Vidalia onions, not usual with smaller ones). Don't spill it or discard it. It can be used to flavor dips, soups, sauces, etc.
- Let the onions sit until they're cool enough to touch.
- Remove and discard the skins from the onions. (Sometimes there's an additional outer layer of onion that got a bit dry as well. If this has happened, discard this dry outer layer too. A bit of browning around the edges is fine. It's a tough, dry, difficult to mash layer that we want to avoid).
- Discard the thyme and you're ready to use your roasted onions in all sorts of delicious ways.
This post is part of the Virtual Picnic series sponsored by Flavors of Summer.
Celebrate Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer with the great tastes of fresh Vidalia Onions, Avocados from Mexico, Gourmet Garden Herbs, Johnsonville Italian Sausage, mangos, watermelon and Stemilt Cherries. Great food and good friends make everyday a party to remember so start entertaining and visit www.flavors-of-summer.com for recipes, coupons and entertaining tips.