Have you ever considered a side of onions? Sure you have – as in onion rings. Yum. But what about braised onion? What about onions that are seasoned with bay leaves and cooked in white wine until they are so tender that you could spread them on bread? Sounds a little nuts, I know. The first time I made this “side” dish, Hubby looked at me as though I had completely lost my mind.
Follow the thought process here and you’ll see that I wasn’t completely nuts. On the menu was one of my favorite “finger” foods – French Country Forty-Clove Garlic Chicken. Now I call this dish finger food because, for the most part you eat it with your hands rather than cutlery. The chicken falls off the bone. It is served with soft garlic and slices of olive kissed baguette rounds. When you eat the chicken, you spread the soft garlic on the warm baguette, top with the wonderful, amazing chicken, pick it up and eat it. Yum! I wanted to serve a side that would go well with the whole finger-eating concept. And that’s when I remembered a recipe for braised onions that was also served on sliced baguettes. Add some soft French cheese and a simple salad of tender green with ripe tomato wedges and it was heaven on a plate. Simple French Country Comfort Foods – can’t get any better.
Olive-Oil Braised Red Onions with Bay Leaves
1 1/2 lbs Red onions (about 3 medium)
3 fresh or dried bay leaves, each torn into 3 pieces
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon dry white wine (a nice Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
Position oven rack in center, preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Tear bay leaves into thirds, set aside until ready to use.
Peel red onions, cut in half vertically, then cut into 2/3-inch wedges.
Arrange the onion wedges in an overlapping single layer in a shallow 10×15-inch baking dish. Nestle the bay leaves among the onions. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, vinegar, white wine, and 1-1/2 tablespoon water and drizzle over the onions. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Braise the onions in the oven until completely tender when pierced close to the root ends with a fork, about 45 minutes.
Uncover the dish and continue to braise until all of the liquid has evaporated and the onions are darkly roasted and glossy, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and serve the onions warm or at room temperature.
To Serve as a Crostini: Spread soft cheese on toasted baguette slices and top with the onions.