Classic Oven Roasted Onions

Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Dena Testa Bray

Simple To Prepare After Leaf Peeping

It’s fall here in the Upper Valley―humble trees are going through their annual transformation. Whether biking or hiking or simply putting our gardens to bed, time outside to enjoy the foliage is a must. Still, we have to eat. Meals based on the local harvest are just the thing.

Our family purchases an annual CSA share from Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford. This year, onions have been abundant. More often than not, the onion is a supporting player in an otherwise complex dish. Most European-style soups and sauces start with an onion cooked in a bit of oil or butter as the basis of flavor. These Classic Oven Roasted Onions are a chance for them to shine on their own. Whole onions are roasted to both to soften and bring out their natural sweetness, then gently simmered with a bit of wine and bits of cooked meat or other vegetables to create a rich sauce to an otherwise light and delicate dish. Make them the centerpiece of a light dinner. Be sure to pick up some fresh bread and cheeses at a local farmer's market while you're out and about leaf peeping to round out the meal. Preparation time is minimal and roasting is largely unattended. You can throw them in the oven when you return from the day's outing. Leave them while you jump in the shower or pour a glass of wine. Unwind and enjoy.

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All the photos for this post were taken on Dogford Road in Etna, NH.


Classic Oven Roasted Onions

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 4 medium to large onions (yellow, red or white)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup cooked beef, diced to small dice (optional)
  • Handful fresh herbs (oregano or thyme), for serving
  • 4 cooked carrots (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoon olive oil into a small Dutch oven or other heavy-bottom pan with a lid. Coat the entire surface of the pan with oil.
  3. Leaving the bottoms of the onion intact, trim away the roots and ¼ inch of the top of each of the onions. Peel the off outer skin. Place the trimmed onions, root side down, in the prepared pan. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the prepared onions in the oven, uncovered,  and roast for one hour or until the center of each onion is easily pierced with a knife.
  5. Remove from the oven. Pour the wine into the pan around the onions. Sprinkle the onions with Parmigiano-Reggiano and the cooked beef, if using. Cover the pan and return the onions to the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, place one onion on each of 4 small dinner plates. Divide the beef and sauce accumulated in the baking pan between each plate. Garnish with fresh herbs and cooked carrots, if using.
  7. Enjoy.


  1. This recipe is adapted from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. 
  2. My adaptation was originally published here.
  3. For a larger meal, serve the onions with any grilled meat or seafood and a bowl of steamed rice.
  4. You can also serve them with Savory Cheese Turnovers, Autumn Vegetable Stacks or Individual Butternut Squash Tarts, all found on Gathering Flavors.


Gathering Flavors for Daily UV is a culinary journal written for my fellow residents of the Upper Valley. Along with publishing original photos and recipes based on local, seasonal ingredients, I write about food, family, and nurturance. You can click here to sign up to receive an email notification every time I post. And you can see my earlier posts here

I live in Etna, New Hampshire with my family, where I work as a web designer specializing in websites for creative businesses.

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