As a personal chef, I’ve come up with countless ways to add flavor, texture and variety to meals without much effort. My simple charred onions are a perfect example of this. They’re not only stupid-easy to make but also versatile. I like them super charred, but go for a lighter char if you please (see above vs below). Then, add them to salads, grain bowls, tacos, sandwiches, burgers, egg dishes, pastas or anything else you can think up.
Not only do I make these charred onions for clients, but I almost always have them ready to go in my own fridge. Many of my meals are ones that I make up as I go along in order to get lunch or dinner on the table STAT, and having prepped foods like these charred onions on hand, makes it effortless to add a punch of amazing flavor to any dish I come up with on the fly.
Particularly when you’re following a plant-forward diet, it’s essential to add as many layers of complexity to every dish as you can. On a conventional diet, you throw some cheese or bacon bits on something and it’s immediately delicious. But with plant-forward cooking, you need to think a bit outside of the conventional box. And these charred onions are a great place to start!
Easy Charred Onions
Serves: 4 (as a topping)
2 medium-large onions (I prefer red, but white or yellow work too)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon teaspoon salt, fine grain
Preheat oven to 415 degrees (F).
Cut onions in half through the root. Trim either end of each half and remove outer layer. Sauté slice the onions into 1/4-1/2″ slices. Sauté slicing is when you slice through the root ends instead of parallel to them.
Add onions to a baking sheet. Add olive oil and salt. Toss to coat. As you toss them, separate the layers but don’t worry about getting them all. They should be overlapping slightly but in a single layer overall.
Transfer sheet to oven and roast for 20 minutes. Toss onions and spread out, again, overlapping slightly but in a single layer overall. Roast for another 15-20 minutes, give or take, until the onions are soft and edges have started to char. Pull them out on the earlier side if you just want just a little bit of char or let them go longer for a heavier char.