Roasting brings out all the glory of Vidalia Onions and a long roast brings about a caramelization of the sugars that occur naturally in the onions. In my Roasted Vidalia Onions recipe, I finish with balsamic vinegar to create a sauce for the onions adding to the flavors. The flavors are distinctive and strong. I suggest half an onion as the perfect serving size.
I love cooking Vidalias. If I am lucky enough to have the greens attached, I cook Vidalia Lemon Chicken. and I have used them in many other dishes. But as you will see here, they are excellent as a dish to themselves.
Why Vidalia Onions?
The mystic around Vidalia Onions resembles the mystic around a fine wine. The onions are a product of soil, climate, techniques, and care from the growers. These are the same characteristics used to discuss great wines. Vidalias are named after and are grown in and around the city of Vidalia, Georgia: part of the Georgia coastal region. The soil is low in sulfur and the climate features warm days and cool nights. The exact terms to discuss fine wine regions. All the conditions add to the sweet flavor and the soft, moist texture that make the onions famous.
Yes, you can use other onions, but I have found Vidalias to be better. Of course, they are a local product for me and availability is likely better for me. Regardless, any sweet onion will work.
Notes on Ingredients
I use high-quality Balsamic Vinegar. Not too acidic, a vinegar that one would think is perfect for a salad dressing.
Salt is imperative to this dish. That may sound a bit strange to need to discuss salting, but it is required to offset the sweetness of the onion. The recipe calls for salting two times. Salt the onion before cooking with the skins still on the onions. However, the interior will not get enough of the salt. After the onions are cooked and opened, salt directly on the revealed inter flesh of the onions.
Notes on Technique
Low and Slow
I roast the onions at 375°F (190°C), for at least an hour. This allows the sugars to carmelize thoroughly through the whole onion and ooze a fond unto the roasting pan. The sugary fond is deglazed with balsamic vinegar to create a sauce.
Roast the onions with the skin on to seal in the flavors. The skin is tough and not edible but creates a type of shell to serve the onions on when finished.
The technique requires a thick pan. Suitable for both the oven and stovetop. A cast iron skillet works well or an Au Gratin pan.
A practical consideration, the Au Gratin pan shown with the white finish allows you to see the fond better and measure the thickness of the sauce while you work.
- 2 Vidalia Onions
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Leave the skins on the onions, but remove any significantly long roots, remaining green stalk, and loose skin. Coat the onions with olive oil and then spread salt on the skins.
- Place the onions on a cast iron or similar oven-proof skillet.
- Roast in the oven for 60 minutes until tender and the onions are releasing a caramelized fond on the bottom of the pan.
- Remove onions from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the skillet with the balsamic vinegar dissolving the fond and the sugars released by the onions.
- To serve, cut down vertically through the onions producing two halves. The outside skin will be too tough to eat, but when served it can work as a kind of shell for the softer roasted insides. (If desired you can discard the skins and only serve in the interior.)
- Half an onion can serve as a portion. Serve skin side down, and flatten slightly as needed. Salt the interior well and then drizzle the balsamic sauce on top.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 120mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g
Calculated Nutrition is estimated.