Call me crazy, but I’ve never really gotten the allure of baked potatoes. Sure, you can dress them up and make tasty things like twice baked potatoes, but a twice baked potato is more about the ingredients you’ve mixed into the potato rather than the potato itself.
Onions on the other hand are inherently flavorful and the heat from the oven works miracles on the pungent onion, rounding off its sharp edges and giving it a mellow sweetness and depth of flavor that’s tough to beat. It’s similar to what happens when you caramelize onions, but by roasting them whole, it makes for a side dish, not just a condiment.
A drizzle of olive oil brings back some of the moisture that was lost while roasting, and a hint of balsamic vinegar amplifies the sweetness. The salt keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying, while bringing forth the umami produced through the maillard reaction.
Whether you pair the baked onions with a steak or eat them solo, they make for a delicious side that contributes flavor to your plate, all without a single ounce of butter, bacon, or sour cream. Best of all, while baking the onions, your kitchen will fill with a magical aroma that will make your stomach growl and your mouth water.
- 2 onions
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- coarse sea salt
- Rinse off the onions to ensure there's no dirt left clinging to the skins.
- Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy clean-up), put the onions on the sheet and put it into a 450 degree F oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the juices running out of the onion have started to char.
- When they're done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the onions cool off for a bit before handling them. The sticky juices coming from the onions are very hot and can cause serious burns.
- When they've cooled a bit, slice them in half and drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle with sea salt.
Cook Time: 40-50 Minutes
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.