Recipe: Red Onion Flowers

By Tilly Dillehay

I don’t know about you, but when my husband asks me what’s for dinner, I generally find myself leading with whatever I know he’s going to be most excited about. If we’re having steak, for instance, you better believe that’s the first thing coming out of my mouth when he asks what we’re having.

Well, when I make these onion flowers, I kid you not… that’s what I lead with. He loves these things, so much so that they sell rest of the meal.

I love them too. They hit every category of food desirability, in my eyes. Healthy? Check. It’s an entire onion per person, full of antioxidant flavonoids and phytochemicals. Cheap? Nothing cheaper than a bag of onions from Aldi. Pretty? These things make the centerpiece of the prettiest plates I ever serve.

Delicious? You better believe it. I like to serve them with baked sweet potatoes and chicken tenderloin breaded in almond flour. Something about the red onion, slightly caramalized, still a little bit crisp, with the sweet potato, just WORKS.  It’s the perfect bite assemblage.

Ingredients:

  • 4 small red onions
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp capers, from a jar
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

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1. Preheat oven to 400. Peal the outer layer of your onion. Slice just the very toughest part of the base of each onion off. Leave some of the base to act as bottom weight for the onion.

 

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2. Make four cuts in the onion through the top, at crossways, like cutting a pie. Be very careful not to cut all the way through. This will leave your onion with 8 visible sections

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This is what happens when you cut too far. You can still cook and eat this delicious onion, but it’s not going to be pretty.

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3. Place your onions on a baking sheet, with plenty of space between (they’ll grow!). Tug them just slightly open so that you can glimpse inside flesh. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on top, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and capers.

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4. Lay a sheet of foil on top, and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15-20 minutes more, until onions are tender, and slightly blackened at the tips.

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4. Serve with meat and another side, remembering to spoon capers on top as you transfer from baking sheet. You’ll need a knife and fork for onion flower deconstruction and perfect bite assemblage.

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