Vidalia onions, grown only in Vidalia, Georgia, have a mild, sweet flavor and are perfect for salads, grilling, or gentle baking as in this recipe. Vidalias are available only in the springtime, but you may substitute other sweet onions whose growing seasons range from January through September. Try Walla Walla onions from Washington state, Maui onions from Hawaii, or Oso Sweet onions from South America.
Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Cut twelve 12-inch squares of aluminum foil. Peel the onions and trim the root end. Be careful to leave the core in place in order to hold each onion together as it cooks. Make 3 or 4 cuts across the top of each onion, cutting only two thirds of the way down to create 6 to 8 partially cut wedges.
Set each onion in the center of a double-layered foil square, root-end down. Sprinkle the onions with the salt, pepper, and herbs, and top each with 1 tablespoon butter. Pull the foil up over each onion, creating a pouch and leaving the top of the onion exposed. Pour 1 tablespoon vinegar into each onion.
If using a gas grill, place the onions on the top shelf over medium-high heat. On a charcoal grill, place the onions around the edge of the grill rack over a medium-hot fire. Cook the onions until they are very tender, about 1 hour.
Place each onion in an individual bowl. The onion will spread open like a flower in the bowl. Pour the juices that have accumulated in the foil pouch over the onion.
More Cooking Secrets of the CIA
By the Culinary Institute of America
1998; $14.95 paperback
Recipes and photos reprinted be permission.
What You Knead, by Mary Ann Esposito
More Cooking Secrets of the CIA,
from the Culinary Institute of America
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Modified August 2007
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