An easier, more flavorful alternative to classic caramelized onions.
AN EASY ALTERNATIVE TO CARAMELIZED ONIONS
If you love caramelized onions but think they’re too much trouble to prepare then this recipe is for you! Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions aren’t exactly like caramelized onions but they’re a good proxy and are so much easier to make. This recipe doesn’t cut down on cooking time – both caramelized onions and Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions take about an hour to cook, but the big difference is that most of the cooking in this recipe is “hands-off” cooking. Once the onions are in the oven, you need only to stir them twice while they’re cooking after which time all the liquid will be evaporated and they’ll be golden brown and slightly caramelized. In contrast, classic caramelized onions are cooked on the stovetop and require constant stirring (“hands-on” cooking) so you’ll need to be tethered to that stovetop for the duration, dealing with sizzling and splattering cooking juices and getting an onion steam facial! I much prefer a recipe like this one where I can prep the onions, stick them in the oven, and move onto other tasks.
HOW TO MAKE ROASTED HONEY BALSAMIC ONIONS
Making Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions couldn’t be simpler.
- Cut two large onions through the stem ends into quarters. Peel off the skins and cut each wedge in half again. You’ll have 16 wedges in total. (Fig. 1 & 2)
- Separate the onion layers and place them on a baking sheet. (Fig. 3 & 4)
- Whisk together the honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper and pour over the onions.
- Toss to evenly coat all the onions with the honey/vinegar mixture.
- Roast at 350 degrees on the bottom rack of the oven for 1 hour, stirring twice through the cooking time. (cook 20 minutes – stir – cook 20 minutes – stir – cook 20 minutes – done).
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHITE BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC VINEGAR?
Traditional authentic balsamic vinegar is thick, syrupy, and dark colored, but this recipe for Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions calls for white balsamic vinegar which is clear and has a thinner consistency. Both types of vinegar are made from the same ingredient – the juice of freshly pressed white Trebbiano grapes, known as “must” – so how is it that they are so different? The answer lies in how they’re cooked and aged.
Classic balsamic vinegar is cooked for a long period of time, which darkens it through the process of caramelization. It’s then aged for a minimum of 12 years in wood barrels where it become concentrated and acquires some of the complex flavors of the wood.
White balsamic vinegar is made by blending the must with white wine vinegar and cooking it for a shorter period of time at a lower temperature thereby preventing caramelization. This results in a clear vinegar with a golden hue. White balsamic vinegar is also aged, sometimes in wood barrels and other times in stainless steel, but not for as long as classic balsamic. As for flavor, it has a less sophisticated, albeit cleaner taste than its more familiar counterpart, and is not as sweet.
If you’d like to read more extensively about balsamic vinegar check out this excellent article – A Guide to Balsamic Vinegars.
USES FOR HONEY BALSAMIC ONIONS
Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions are incredibly versatile. Here are some of the ways you can use them – in, on, or alongside:
• pizza or focaccia
• grilled or roasted meats
• pasta dishes
• vegetable platters
• eggs, omelets or frittatas
• quiches or other savory tarts
You might even find yourself eating them all by themselves right off the end of a fork! They’re that good! If you’d like to see another version of this recipe using red onions and maple syrup, check out Roasted Maple Balsamic Onions.
If you make Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me over on Instagram @QueenofMyKitchen. I’d love to see your creation!
Roasted Honey Balsamic Onions
- 2 large white onions, about 1 pound each
- ⅓ cup white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut each onion (through the stem ends) into quarters. Peel away the skins and cut each wedge in half again. (You’ll have 16 wedges in total – 8 from each onion.)
- Separate the onion layers and place them on a half sheet pan.
- Combine the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and pour over the onions. Toss to evenly coat all the onions.
- Roast for 1 hour on the bottom rack of the oven, stirring once or twice midway through, until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the onions are golden brown and caramelized.
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