onions roasted in their skins, with tarragon dressing

i don’t get the foodtv channel anymore. it’s a long story–mostly having to do with wanting to slash my ridiculous monthly cable bill and realizing i almost exclusively watch hbo and pbs. but when i did watch foodtv, i never missed an episode of laura calder’s french food at home. i was around a tv loaded with cable channels the other day, and i caught the episode where she made onions roasted in their skins. that’s literally all you do, throw them in the oven with their skins on and let them go for an hour and a half. in the meantime, you whip an egg with tarragon, white wine vinegar and olive oil, and wait impatiently while…

your house starts 

to smell like a million different mouth-

watering dishes… and you remember that onions are behind every one of them. 

i didn’t even realize that this recipe’s in laura calder’s book french food at home which i have, because i’ve been that bad about actually using my beautiful cookbooks. but as i’ve mentioned before, i’m making and posting favourite recipes from my collection at the beginning of each month. this will definitely become a favourite.

onions sitting on salt cushions

baked onions with vinaigrette
(via foodnetwork.ca)

[ys notes: there’s a raw egg in the dressing and some would advise that you don’t serve that to anyone pregnant, elderly, super-young or anyone with a weak or compromised immune system. just letting you know. oh, and i didn’t have tarragon vinegar so i used white wine vinegar.]

ingredients:
4 medium-sweet organic onions, unpeeled
4 handfuls coarse salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon tarragon vinegar
1 pinch salt and pepper
1/2 cup grape seed oil
lemon juice to taste
handful chopped fresh tarragon
1 handful chopped fresh thyme

directions:
1. heat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Cut barely a sliver off the bottom of each onion so they’ll sit without rolling over. pierce them in a few places with a sharp knife so they won’t burst during cooking. make four mounds of sea salt in a baking dish and nest an onion in each. bake 15 minutes. lower the heat to 325°F/160°C and continue baking until the insides are almost applesauce soft, about 1-1/2 hours, depending on the size of the onions.
2. make the dressing: Whisk together the yolk, garlic and vinegar. season. beat in the oil, drop by drop, to make a thick dressing. taste, and add lemon juice if needed. check the salt and pepper. stir through the herbs. cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. to serve, set the onions on serving plates (leaving the salt mounds behind). slit the onions open with a sharp knife and spoon some sauce into each until it starts bubbling up and out onto the plate. serve.