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Onion Harvest

So my onions came in this last week or so and after slicing and dicing them for the grill, the skillet, the freezer and the salad, I had to come up with something new.  You gardeners out there know what I’m talking about–zealous in your green thumb, you think “the more the merrier” and grow a hundred sweet onions with only the thought of Nirvana in mind.  Patiently you tend and care for these sweet babies until — FINALLY — six months later, they’re ready! 

Talk about excitement.  Well life around the Venetta Farm is in full swing and not only does that mean harvest, it means kitchen duty.  Not one for canning onions or eating them raw, I like to bake mine.  Saute them, combine them with butter and heat until they caramelize to perfection.  This recipe is one of my favorites for doing exactly that and with the addition of cheese?

Life doesn’t get any better.  Taken from the magazine, Cuisine at home, this dish is easy to make and worth every minute.  If you like French Onion Soup, you’re going to LOVE this dish. 

Onions au Gratin

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

8 cups sliced sweet onions

1/2 cup dry sherry or chicken broth (I used sherry)

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (I skipped these)

Preheat oven to 400°F

Melt butter in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stirring until slightly softened to make room in the pan (I don’t know what this means—I just sautéed the correct amount of onions); cover and cook until completely softened, 10 minutes.

Add sherry, thyme, and bay leaves; increase heat to medium-high.  Sauté, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates and onions are browning, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes (mine may have been 20 minutes, but caramelizing onions is a fairly forgiving process).

Combine cheeses, then stir 1/2 cup of cheese mixture into onion mixture.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned, about 20 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves, then sprinkle with olives.  Let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 4 servings.   Total time: approx. 50 minutes.

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