Roasted Red Onion Flowers – beautiful, tasty, and irresistable vegetable side dish or fancy appetizer for your next party. The onions have a sweet tender center, with crispy outer edges.
Onions are a big part of my cooking owing to my grandfather’s influence. He always saw what an onion could become if used properly. Whether it was mellowed by letting it reach room temperature and then drizzling some oil and vinegar on it or intensely sweetened by slowly caramelizing them in a skillet, onions are a beautiful thing like flowers.
These roasted red onion flowers are an attempt to make this true in almost a literal sense, but definitely visually. In searching for onion flowers I came across this technique in an online article on the Epicurious website. When prepped correctly the mini red onions present stunningly well and taste just as good. The key to these blossom beauties is to cut 4 vertical slices from the top of the onions down to the base while leaving the base intact. As they roast in the oven they began to breakdown both in terms of taking on this floral shape, but also in terms of developing this rich, intense caramelized flavor.
The roasted red onion flowers are flavorful as is, but the added olive oil, salt, and herbs add a level of complexity. Additionally the longer roasting process nets a delicate but meaty core with crunchy “burnt” ends which are smokey and tasty. For fun I added some Aleppo pepper. This adds that great contrasting red color as well as act as a flavor enhancer. Aleppo pepper has grown in popularity and so is more accessible now. It’s flakey like a red chili flake you throw on your pizza, but has a bright and fruity aroma, and a finish more similar to sun-dried tomatoes vs. a hot chili. I pick up a bottle at my local spice shop but Amazon sells them as well which you can access at this link. Aleppo is a great condiment/spice; it works great with fruit such as this Aleppo Spiced Melon.
Roasted Red Onion Flowers
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Dope beats, fresh eats, best life. Enjoy this colorful and delicious Roasted Red Onion Flowers as a weeknight dinner side or fancy party appetizer.
Roasted Red Onion Flowers
- 6-8 small red onions skin on and roots intact
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp Fresh ground pepper
- Fresh thyme and basil finely chopped
- Aleppo peppo optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Make 4 vertical cuts in each onion create 8 wedges still attached at root ends
Drizzle some of the olive oil into a baking dish, then arrange onions root side down
Spoon remaining olive oil into and around the onions. Season the onions with salt, using your fingers to work some into the centers. Toss in some of the herbs.
Roast for 40 minutes. Rearrange onions so that the petals open. Spoon up some of the onion juices and drizzle over onions. Roast for another 20-25 minutes longer to get a tender inside and the outer edges of the onions begin to crisp up. Season with salt, pepper, more herbs and Aleppo peppers. Serve hot or at room temperature.