The Song of Young Roasted Onions with Balsamic, Cream, and Lemon Thyme

Ah, August.

You know August, the month of Sundays.  The month of last gulps of rosé and drippy kitchen sink peaches.  Pretty soon I’ll be replacing words like “tequila happy hour” with words like “trajectory.” Instead of saying, “Dude, pass me the salt and a lime,” I’ll be saying, “Please pass me that book. I have to read 200 pages on restaurant ethnography.” But for now, the dog days are upon us, tripping lazily along. 

I’m out to enjoy all the hot bits while I still can.  So I’m leaving my summer soundtrack of music to chop by.  And a list of dishes I’ve had on repeat.  Feel free to shake it in the kitchen. Let things get a little unruly.

The Sound

“We are the Tide” Blind Pilot
 “Silver Coin” Angus and Julia Stone
 “Sugar Man” Rodriguez
“Hold the Line” Toto
“Stars” The xx
“The World is Going Up in Flames” Charles Bradley
 “Ghosts” The Head and the Heart
 “I Ain’t the Same” Alabama Shakes

The Dishes

Shredded kale tossed with a bastardized Caesar dressing
Roasted young onions with balsamic, cream, and lemon thyme

A word about the onions.  I make them in the early morning before my kitchen steams and the earth heats up.  I don’t have air conditioning, but I believe in the power of roasting onions.  This late in the summer, the onions you’ll find at farmers’ markets will no longer be green in the figurative sense.  No matter. I’m quite certain you could quarter regular onions and have things sing. This would also be the time to take advantage of Vidalias.  You could even try this roasting and creaming business with scallions. 

Hardly worth fussing over specifics.  What I have for you is barely a recipe.  But it’s something that is spectacular with morning eggs or tossed in a raw kale salad at lunchtime.  Again, let things get a little unruly.  These guys are difficult to mess up.  And their little onion souls pair fantastically with the Alabama Shakes.

Young Roasted Onions with Balsamic, Cream, and Lemon Thyme


A bunch of young onions or about four small onions
Olive oil, enough to coat the onions
Salt and pepper
Few sprigs of lemon thyme
A few douses of balsamic vinegar
A splash or two of heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the onions in a baking dish and generously coat them with olive oil until they glisten; season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, maybe a few tablespoons worth when all is said and done.  Tuck a few sprigs of lemon thyme in between the onions and bake until the onions are tender and start to caramelize, about 20 to 30 minutes or so (you will probably want to check on them occasionally). 

Once the onions are fairly well caramelized, take them out and add a few splashes of heavy cream; stir to combine the cream and place back in the oven.  Continue to cook the onions until a sauce forms (it will start to thicken a bit); this will take about 5-10 minutes more. 

Makes a few cups of onions

-If you are using the whole onion with its green parts, the tops might get frizzled a bit.  I enjoy eating these parts, if you don’t, well, don’t.

-I know, technically rhubarb season has come and gone.  But I’ve had the recipe on repeat.  When you make something at least six times in a matter of weeks, it's worth noting. So I did.


  1. There was a time (up until a couple of years ago) that I used to hate onions. I am very glad I got over that. These sound fantastic. I had a grilled scallion dish at Catalyst in Kendall Square which was awesome, and now I am thinking of roasting them, thanks to your recipe.

  2. young onions. i feel like some sort of malicious baby-eater when it's worded like that, even more so than if they were called baby onions. regardless of my hang-ups, this sounds great!

  3. Love the blue plate!


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