Blossom Onions Grilled and Planked with Red Pepper Aioli

Planked blossom onion 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.

cutting blossom onions 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.

planked blossom onion 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.

planked blossom onions I cooked mine low and slow until the petals pulled off easily, it took about an hour, but the smell was intoxicating, I don’t have to tell you how good grilled onions smell, you can just imagine!

planked blossom onionsplanked blossom onion A quick red pepper aioli is delicious for dipping as you’re sipping a nice cold drink by your side. Enjoy!

Blossom Onions Grilled and Planked with Red Pepper Aioli
  • 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
  • paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh herbs for garnish
  • 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
  1. Prepare your onions by cutting ½ inch off the stem end, then peel all the skin off.
  2. Place onion cut side down, then ½ inch from the ROOT make a downward cut straight to your cutting board.
  3. Repeat to make four evenly spaced cuts around the onion.
  4. Continue slicing evenly between sections until you have 16 evenly spaced cuts.
  5. Turn the onion over and separate the petals.
  6. on foil ( for easy clean up) sprinkle your onions with the Italian seasoning mix, salt and pepper and grated cheese.
  7. Finish by generously drizzling olive oil all over.
  8. Place on plank, if using.
  9. Have grill heated on low and cook until petals pull off easily and our soft and tender. About 1 hour.
  10. Garnish with fresh basil and parsley.
  12. Place all the ingredients into a food processor until well blended.



Grilled Onions with Thyme and Cream

grilled onionsEven though summer is winding down there’s still plenty of time for grilling. I made these over the weekend, charred slabs of onions bathing in a shallow pool of cream and garlic. Pure decadence!
grilled onions What is it about onions and cream, they’re such a perfect combo!  I’m now adding this to another favorite onion recipe that I adore and previously did a post on back in 2011, my Roasted Parmesan Cream Onions, they’re always a big hit, so simple to make and a great side dish for the upcoming holidays. I think that’s why I was instantly drawn to this recipe when I saw it in Fine Cooking magazine, it’s similar but with grilled onions.

grilled onions The grilled onions become super sweet when caramelized and then you have the smokiness of the grill which gives this dish a whole other flavor dimension. Who would ever think that the humble onion could transform into something so luxurious! Don’t stress about the cream, for 12 slices you only use 1/2 cup!

grilled steaks Did I mention they are wonderful as a side with steaks or burgers?

 Trust me, they are!


Easy Labor Day Weekend Ideas

Couscous salad topped with grilled veggies, serve with grilled pita and you’ll have the perfect lunch,

or serve it as a side with any roast you might be putting on the grill.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a platter filled with grilled veggies drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze!

A perfect side dish with any grilled meats.

Or slabs of grilled sweet onions with dollops of warm gorgonzola.

For an extremely fresh salad that you can’t stop eating, try this Zucchini Carpaccio

Salad. Paper thin slices of fresh zucchini tossed with baby arugula, shredded Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. Topped with toasted walnuts.

For a quick dessert take advantage of all the beautiful apricots that are still available.

Stuff them with sweetened mascarpone and plop a blackberry on top, drizzle with honey or agave and stick them under your broiler. Garnish with pistachio’s.

Keep it simple and savor every last bit of all the beautiful summer produce.

Buon Appetito!