When you have an onion surplus, you need to get creative. Onion soup? Check. Onion strings? Check. Onion...? Onion...? What else can I make with onions?! (Yes, I was talking to myself about the onions.) I finally thought of onion gratin. A creamy dish of soft, baked onions with a hint of cheese sounded like just the thing to pair with some crispy fish for dinner.
I searched for recipes and finally decided on one from Closet Cooking. It was on this blog that I found that recipe for maple-dijon vinaigrette for my brussels sprouts, so I knew I could trust the recipe, and it sounded easy enough to make on a weeknight.
Luckily for Jeff, the onions in this gratin don't need to be thinly sliced, so I cut them into quarter-inch thick slices all on my own and left the mandoline safely tucked in the cabinet. I made a few modifications to the recipe, like leaving out the wine (I know. What was I thinking?) because I didn't have an open bottle and knew I'd end up wasting a lot of it if I opened a bottle midweek. I was really happy with the results, but I think next time I would use a different cheese, maybe Gruyere, so the cheese would get really bubbly and brown on top. Parmesan just didn't cut it.
Onion Gratin (adapted from Closet Cooking)
1 large white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (or other cheese)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place onions on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle them with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with thyme.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.
Transfer the onions to a baking dish, and pour the cream over them.
Cover the dish with foil, and bake for another 35 minutes.
Remove the foil, and sprinkle the Parmesan over the onions.
Raise the temperature to 450 degrees, and bake until cheese turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
I highly recommend serving this luscious and creamy sweet onion dish with fish or steak, so you can scoop up onions and cream with each bite. The onions are also delightful on their own.
Have you ever bought too much of an ingredient and had to come up with creative ways to use it up?