Saturday, February 11, 2012

Creamy Rosemary Onions

Only after my daughters reached a certain culinary maturity could I freely use onions in cooking.  In their youth I was forced to employ covert operations to include them - a mince so fine Julia Child would have rhapsodized my skill with a chef’s knife, the inclusion of dehydrated onions which cooked to mush and became unrecognizable in a finished dish - they simply detested them and refused all dishes where onions were detected.  Their eventual declaration that onions were, in fact, pretty tasty made me almost as happy as the last time I had to pay university tuition.

Robert Courtine, French writer and gourmand, is credited with saying  “The onion is the truffle of the poor.”  Indeed!  Onions are among the most inexpensive items found in our pantries.  There are several types available to suit specific dishes without wild cost variations.  They will stay fresh for up to two weeks at room temperature, for up to two months in the refrigerator and for up to a year in a freezer.  Roasting onions, as in the recipe below, allows their mellow, nutty flavor to take center stage.  Either white, yellow or Vidalia onions are suitable for this dish.  I strongly suggest that you have a fresh loaf of crusty bread on hand to best enjoy the reduced sauce.  You might even want to double up on the amounts of stock, seasonings and cream for dipping.

6 large onions, unpeeled
2 cups chicken stock
3-4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
leaves from 3-4 branches of fresh rosemary
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Slice roughly ¼ inch off the bottoms and tops of the onions so they’ll sit upright, then slice in half cross-wise.  Arrange the onions skin side down in a baking dish.  (Leaving the onion skins intact assists in the onions keeping their shape during roasting.)

Pour chicken stock over and around onions in the baking dish.  Drizzle olive oil over onions and liberally season with salt and pepper.  Scatter rosemary leaves over onions and into stock.  Transfer the dish to the oven and bake, basting often with the stock, until onions are soft when pierced with the tip of a paring knife and stock has been reduced by about three-quarters, roughly 1 - 1 ½ hours.

Remove baking dish from oven and pour cream over onions.  Return dish to the oven and bake until pan juices have thickened slightly and the tops of the onions have browned, 20-30 minutes more.


she wonders what
her life would have been
had she not
run arms open
to youthful daydreams
turning them into
a reality
she never saw coming

she wonders now
about that girl
who made such rash choices
on her behalf
what she’s doing
now that dinner
needs cooking
need feeding

she thinks about
the time
she let pass
staying busy
but not being
she could have been

she reaches
for a knife
watches the skin
peel away
from an onion


  1. Thanks for a great recipe and a lovely poem. I've always said, as long as I have a bag of onions I have soup!

  2. Thanks, Merrill :) And a hearty amen to the onions and soup!

  3. i don't know when I have enjoyed reading a recipe so much!

    Karina Klesko!Sketchbook Online Poetry Journal

  4. beautiful poem susan-thanks for sharing!

  5. Susan, it's a delight to meet you. I'm enticed by your recipes as well as your poetry. Your poem above brought "tears" to my own eyes! Beautiful!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lorraine :) The recipe is now one of my daughters' favorites, so be sure to give it a try!