Chef Nolan Ledarney's Roasted Onions

May 28, 2015

 These sticky-sweet, and deeply savoury onions appear time and time again at our table at Umami Concepts, and can be served in countless ways, either warm, room temp or even chilled. When asked what the story is behind their conception,  Chef Nolan says there was really no romance to it; it was simply an organic process of bringing out the onion's natural best. What's the lesson here? Less is more people--as in less talk, and let the food speak for itself. 


6 yellow onions

1/2 bottle of chianti (or any robust red)

5 sprigs of thyme

sea salt (preferably Maldon salt)


9x16 inch baking pan (at least 2 inches deep)

parchment paper


1. Pre-heat your oven at 210 degrees celsius (convection oven is preferred)

2. Remove a sliver of the root of each onion without slicing into the flesh, then slice each onion in half, from stem to root. (Doing them this way allow them to stay in tact and makes for a more attractive presentation)

3. Line the baking tray with parchment paper

4. Sprinkle a 4-finger pinch of sea salt evenly over the parchment. 

5. Lay the onion halves cut-side down on the parchment. (It's ok if they touch)

6. Pour the chianti into the baking tray, and let it flow in the spaces between the onions. The wine should come up about a 1/2 inch up the onions. 

7. Scatter the thyme springs around the onions. 

8. Roast in the oven for 2 hours, or until the wine has reduced to an irresistible savoury syrup. 

9. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour to let the flavours truly concentrate. 

These onions are best enjoyed with a final sprinkling of sea salt and drizzled with your best extra virgin olive oil. 

Serve an onion half with a perfectly cooked steak, break open a few petals and pop them inside a burger, or chill them down and put them on warm crostini along with fresh ricotta cheese.



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