Sunday, April 5, 2009

sicilian slow-roasted onion salad

Just the name "slow-roasted" conjures something vivid and primal (the urge to build a fire pit?). It is the language of moist and meltingly tender meats; of flavors that are rich and mellow. It's not a technique one usually thinks of with vegetables, but it should be.

Sicilian Slow-Roasted Onion Salad
Adapted from Paula Wolfert, 150 Best American Recipes

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large onions (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons water
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush the foil with oil.

Cut off and discard the ends of the onions. Leaving outer skin intact, slice onions crosswise 1/2 inch thick. Lay slices on the prepared baking sheet and brush them with oil.

Bake onions for 1 hour, until just tender. Turn the onions and bake for 30 minutes more, or until deeply browned. Remove from oven and season with salt. Transfer to large shallow serving dish and let chill to room temperature. Discard onion skins and any dried-out rings.

Whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, water, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon the vinaigrette over the onions and serve.

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