Credit must go to my daughter, Sara, for this recipe. She read it in one of my issues of Gourmet Magazine, and when we were trying to figure out what to make for dinner one evening when our families were together, she recalled this recipe. We tried it, and it's been a fixture on my summertime menu ever since. It really could be made any time of year, but seems like it goes so well with grilled meats, even though it's done completely in the oven.
Although the preparation is simple, you do have to be hanging around in the kitchen off and on for the better part of 2 hours. It's amazing that onion halves in a 400° oven take nearly 2 hours to settle into soft silkiness, but they do. Don't skimp on the olive oil as it definitely enhances the flavor, and don't allow the pan to dry out because the wine and oil will definitely burn. Generally I add a bit more red wine and always have to add additional water towards the end of the baking time. If you don't have fresh thyme, you may use dried. Be generous with the herbs.
Baked Onions with Thyme
Recipe By : Gourmet Magazine, January, 2001
Serving Size : 12
Preparation Time :0:10 Start to Finish Time: 2:00
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pinch sea salt
2/3 cup Chianti -- or other dry red wine
1/4 cup water -- and you may need more
1. Preheat oven to 400°. (Do not use convection for this.) Remove both ends from the onions. Discard outer layers from the onions and cut each onion in half, crosswise.
2. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil spray and place onion halves, trimmed ends down into the pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Pour the wine over the onions, moistening each onion top some with the wine. Remove the leaves from the fresh thyme and sprinkle all over the onions. Season with the sea salt to taste and fresh cracked pepper.
3. Bake, uncovered, in the middle of the oven, basting with pan juices twice during the baking, for 40 minutes. Add water to the pan and bake until the onions are browned and tender, about another 50 minutes, watching that the pan doesn't dry out. Serve hot, or cool to room temperature to serve.
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 101 Calories; 4g Fat (47.4% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 14mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.
Serving Ideas : You may want to double the batch so you'll have leftovers, as they are wonderful to throw into pasta, a salad, or just by themselves.
NOTES : If you use REALLY big onions, they will take longer to cook, but a small onion is too small. So medium-large is ideal. These onions are just mouth-watering, they're so good. It's a simple dish to make, and just requires you to be nearby. Be careful that the wine doesn't boil away completely, as then they will burn. Add water periodically if it does evaporate, and reduce the oven temperature a little bit. If you want to reduce the cooking time, cut the onions into wedges instead of halves, and they'll cook in about 90 minutes.