You know those famous bloomin onions that are battered, deep fried, loaded with calories and sodium? Well here’s my version, it’s seasoned with fresh and dried herbs, olive oil and grated romano cheese, then they’re placed on a plank, grilled and served with a red pepper aioli sauce for dipping.
You can serve this as an appetizer or a side at any of your cookouts, it’s way healthier, the flavors taste amazing, and it has a great presentation.
First you have to select large sweet onions, I chose vidalia onions for this recipe, nice big ones. Next, you have to figure out how to cut the onions properly, I didn’t know how to do that until I did a little research on Google and found this step by step process, it was very helpful, easy to do ( with a sharp knife) and worked out perfectly.
Once you cut the onions properly the whole thing will blossom out just like a flower with petals, the more wedges cut into the onions the prettier it will look, that’s why you need to use large ones.
Then it’s all about the seasonings you choose and you’re ready to go, use your favorites. Of course I made my onions Italian style, dusting with the dry first and then garnishing with the fresh. You can do spicy Cajun ,Mexican stlye, whatever sounds good to you, but always finishing the onions off with a generous drizzle of olive oil all over.
Do all your oiling and seasoning prior to placing on the plank to avoid flare ups, but it’s still a good idea to have a spray bottle filled with water near the grill just in case.
I wanted to try planking my onions and using a hickory board this time, but you can certainly make this without a plank by simply wrapping the onion in heavy duty foil and placing the bundles straight on the grill for around 30 minutes or so, towards the end open up the foil so it gets golden on top.
Sometimes grilling planks can be hard to find especially when you want to try different wood flavors besides cedar, here’s a great online source.
- Large sweet onions, like Vadalia's
- 1 large grilling plank, cedar, hickory, maple, etc. soaked for over 2 hours ( I could fit 3 onions on mine but plank sizes vary).
- Italian seasoning blend, dry
- grated romano or parmesan cheese
- granulated garlic
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh herbs for garnish
- FOR THE RED PEPPER AIOLI
- 1 cup of roasted red peppers, either made yourself or a good jarred one that has been drained and patted dry well
- ¾ cup of good organic mayonnaise
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare your onions by cutting ½ inch off the stem end, then peel all the skin off.
- Place onion cut side down, then ½ inch from the ROOT make a downward cut straight to your cutting board.
- Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion.
- Continue slicing evenly between sections until you have 16 evenly spaced cuts.
- Turn the onion over and separate the petals.
- on foil ( for easy clean up) sprinkle your onions with the Italian seasoning mix, salt and pepper and grated cheese.
- Finish by generously drizzling olive oil all over.
- Place on plank, if using.
- Have grill heated on low and cook until petals pull off easily and our soft and tender. About 1 hour.
- Garnish with fresh basil and parsley.
- FOR THE AIOLI
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor until well blended.