The bins are filling up at the Farmer’s Markets. Here in Colorado we’re a bit later with our crops, so we’re seeing the baby onions, beets, and carrots in heaping mounds on tables. The new garlic and garlic scapes are finishing, fava’s are here, and lettuces from the palest green to the deepest reds abound. My favorite time of the year. Summer. (I think I might actually say that about every season, but now, summer is my fav.) I’m so happy to be back at the Farmer’s Market, I just can’t find the words. Every visit is a new adventure. Everytime I find something that makes me happy inside. As usual, I buy too much. This time is was baby onions. Sweet, tender, little baby red onions. I sliced them into everything I ate. I still had a bunch left. So I fell back onto my default way of making vegetables all year long. Roasting. Now I love to grill them too, and they’re wonderful anyway you want to prepare them, but my heart belongs to roasted vegetables. J’adore. There’s not a long story to tell here, I don’t have a history with baby onions, nor do I think that this preparation is anything that’s never been done before. But if YOU haven’t made roasted baby onions, or just roasted onions with balsamic, you need to. It’s a must. Go!
There isn’t a recipe to share. It’s a method that you’ve read about so many times here. Olive oil, salt, and pepper. This time we add balsamic to it. That’s it. Insert vegetable of choice. I peeled and took off the stem and root ends. I chose a non stick frying pan to roast in this time because it develops a deep caramelized fond that sticks to the onions and gives them a deeper, more dimensional flavor. For about 1 cup of baby onions I used not quite a tablespoon of oil, about a 1/2 tsp. of salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Mix it all up together, coating every piece well and put in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes. At the 1o minute mark, pull them out and flip them over. If there’s a deep, bubbly sauce sticking to the bottom, you’re good. Check again in 5 minutes and then every 5 minutes, turning as you go, until they’re soft and meltingly tender with deeply caramelized spots.
Now use them on anything. Put them into sandwiches, put them along side your steak or burger, in salads, straight into your mouth. They are crazy good, totally addictive, and easy. I know it’s getting hot out there and the thought of turning on the oven is horrifying, so you can do what I do which is do them early in the morning before the heat builds. Or you can put that same pan on a hot grill, and cook them that way. Make sure your pan is non-stick for either way, the heat is, in my opinion, a bit high for the non stick. Oh, and while the baby onions are especially good, onions of all sizes and colors are welcomed to this preparation.