Saturday, December 17, 2011

Roasted Red Onions with Pomegranate Gremolata

I halved this recipe, since there were only two of us and the original (reprinted below) serves 8 people as a side dish. I did change it a bit by deciding to make the onions “bloom” on a whim. (Well, here’s how it happened: The Engineer and I were re-watching a trilogy starring, among others, Orlando Bloom. And now when I hear his name, I can’t help but think of this skit by Robot Chicken, hence the Orlando Blooming Onions. That’s how my mind works sometimes.) It doesn’t really matter how you serve the onion, as long as it’s in big pieces. They’re quick to prepare, though they stay in the oven a while; this gives you times to make the gremolata. I got this recipe from Not Without Salt, though I had seen it in Bon Appétit as well. I’d definitely make it again, perhaps for guests. Here, I served it with rice and chicken cooked in apple-basil jelly.

While I’m at it, I’d also like to share my method for seeding a pomegranate. I mean, obviously the easiest way is to buy the arils straight from Pom. Barring that, though, there is an easy way to do it. I’ve seen people have a lot of trouble, just because they’re using the wrong method and cutting into the fruit willy-nilly. Here’s a video on how to do it properly; you don’t even need to do it underwater. (If you do get a stain on your clothes, the best way to remove it is to pour boiling water over it – tried and true.) What to do with leftover arils? I suggest sprinkling some over yogurt, granola or crêpes for breakfast, or throwing them into a salad (green or grain). They also look fantastic in a pitcher of water with a few citrus twists. Arils keep well in the fridge.

For the onions
5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
5 medium red onions, peeled, each cut into 8 wedges through core, with some core still attached to each piece

For the gremolata
2/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tsp finely grated orange peel

For the onions
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425 °F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add onions; toss gently. Arrange onions close together, 1 cut side down, on baking sheet; spoon juices from bowl over. Roast 20 minutes. Using a small spatula, carefully turn onions over. Continue to roast onions until tender and thickly coated with glaze, watching to prevent overbrowning, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven.

For the gremolata
Mix pomegranate seeds, parsley, and orange peel in small bowl.
Arrange warm or room-temperature onions on platter. Sprinkle gremolata over and serve.

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