A few days back I bought some Vidalia Onions. I’m like a giddy little kid who reacts to the sounds of the ice cream truck when I see these sweet onions arrive at the store. I go running over, peer through the bags for the one I think most perfect and lay it in my grocery cart with a goofy smile all over my face.
Vidalia onions are grown in Vidalia, Georgia and are usually only available in late-spring/early summer in grocery stores or by ordering them online. Due to the makeup of the sulfur in the soil they are grown in, the onions are incredibly sweet and some onion lovers swear you can eat them like an apple. I’m not alone in my love of them – these onions which were almost grown by accident in the 1930’s, have their own mascot…
They have also inspired state and federal protection, have an actual committee, and are the official vegetable of the state of Georgia.
I’m not alone in my adoration…see?
My absolute favorite thing to do with the onions is really showcase them by themselves, like sauteing them down until they are caramel-colored, brown and sugary, and topping grilled meat, tacos or hamburgers with them. I also adore them in fried potatoes. The ratio of onions to potatoes should be 50/50 because…again…they are the star.
However, I am Fitbitting, and have thus lost five pounds from walking diligently and lightening up my diet, so I was looking for a new way to utilize my Vidalias. We are also picking scads of lettuce from our garden right now, so I thought about a Vidalia onion vinaigrette. I’ve used onions before in dressings, like my Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing so I thought …why not?
I had seen a recipe in Food & Wine recently that used Vidalia onions and they roasted them along with onions and garlic but upon making it, it just wasn’t right for me. I tweaked it somewhat by adding some fresh herbs and pure maple syrup and the result was perfect for the Cobb Salads we made that night (recipe will be posted for that tomorrow!)
I halved the recipe since it’s only the two of us and it was still enough for four large salads with some leftover.
Start by peeling and quartering one large Vidalia onion. Place it on a lined cookie sheet with three cloves of unpeeled garlic. Don’t peel the garlic because the skin will keep it from drying out too much while roasting in the oven.
Brush the onion with a little olive oil and pop the pan into a 425º oven for forty five minutes to one hour or just until the onion edges are browning and the garlic is soft but not turning hard.
After they are done, let them cool and then squeeze the garlic out of its skin, or simply peel it off and put the ooey gooey cloves into a blender and toss in the onions.
Add in 1/4 cup each of apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon juice (about one large lemon), 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (or honey), a dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Pop the lid on your blender and whiz this up for about 30 seconds.
Then take off the inserted round lid on top of the blender and slowly pour in the olive oil.
Blend another 30 seconds or so and you’re done! Pour it into a pretty container to serve it.
Because if you go to all that work, why put it in an unattractive serving piece right?
I beg you to stay tuned for the Cobb Salad recipe I’m posting tomorrow to put this dressing on. And remember, you can keep this in the refrigerator for up to four days!