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Recipe of the Week: Balsamic Glazed Onion Wedges and Fennel | Manolo for the Big Girl

Recipe of the Week: Balsamic Glazed Onion Wedges and Fennel

As some of you may recall, I resolved recently to take better care of myself in the coming year, and to get back in touch with my own creativity. A few days later, I heard about an idea that appealed strongly to me. Instead of making huge, unrealistic resolutions, people are encouraged to resolve to do one thing each week. What that thing might be is up to the person making the resolution. It could be to read at least one book a week, run five miles a week, or to spend a certain amount of time each week improving your score on your favorite video game.

My choice? To try at least one new recipe a week. You see, I have a huge number of cookbooks, but when it comes time to make dinner, more often than not I make something up on the spot. It’s fun, but I don’t learn new techniques, and I don’t make use of this incredible library I’ve amassed.

And to keep me honest, I’ve decided to share my new recipe with you all each week. I’ll let you know how it turned out and anything that didn’t work for me in the recipe. Sometimes the recipe will be a carnivore’s delight, other times a vegan dream. I’ll cover main dishes, sides, appetizers, and desserts.

This week, I picked an easy start, but one I would never have thought of on my own. It’s tasty, easy, and surprisingly quick. It comes from the Food & Wine Annual for 2006, and I’m glad I decided to try it out.

Want more? Follow the bouncing cut and read on.

Balsamic Glazed Onion Wedges With Fennel:

2Tblsp Extra-Virgin olive oil

4tsp Balsamic Vinegar

Sea Salt

Fronds and stalks from one fennel bulb, bulb reserved for another purpose

1 Very large red onion, cut into 8 wedges through the root end

8 Bay leaves

1 tsp fennel pollen or finely ground fennel seeds (I chose the seeds and crushed them with my handy mortar and pestle)

Preheat the oven to 400F. In an oven-proof 10″ skillet, mix 4 tsp of the olive oil with 2 tsp of the vinegar and a pinch of the sea salt. Spread the fennel stalks and fronds over the oil and vinegar in the pan and top the fennel with the onion wedges. Drizzle the remaining olive oil and vinegar over the onions and top each wedge with a bay leaf. Sprinkle the wedges with the fennel pollen or seeds.

Cut a round of parchment paper slightly larger than the skillet. Crumple the parchment under running water and spread it over the top of the onions. Cover the skillet with foil and place on center rack in oven for 40 minutes, or until tender. Remove the foil and parchment paper from the skillet.

Turn the onion wedges over and cook over high heat on the stovetop until most of the moisture has evaporated, about one minute (this took nearly two minutes for me, but not very long at all). Transfer the onion wedges and fennel to a serving plate, discarding the bay leaves (This is Very Important. Don’t try to eat the bay leaves.) and serve immediately.

Twistie’s  take: Delicious, surprising, and ridiculously easy. This recipe is great as is. Do yourself a favor and try it before fennel goes away in the warmer weather.

5 Responses to “Recipe of the Week: Balsamic Glazed Onion Wedges and Fennel”

  1. teteatete January 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    Oh, this sounds good! I love onions! And fennel! And balsamic! You hit all my nails squarely on the head. Thanks, Twistie.

  2. jeannemarie January 10, 2010 at 10:18 pm #

    Sounds delicious! I would love to eat it, but I have sworn off all recipes that involve putting a frying pan in the oven. Every time I do this, I end up at some point forgetting that it is hot, grabbing the handle while it is sitting on the stove (usually about 5 minutes after I carefully removed it from the oven using potholders) and giving myself a really nasty burn on the palm. If I could figure out how to keep from doing this every time I might return to those recipes. This one certainly is tempting…

  3. Lilly Munster January 11, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I use a silicon potholder which just slides over the handle and you can leave it on the pan once it is on the stovetop. I just leave it next to the stove and its bright pink color alerts me to always use it. It has been a real hand-saver.

  4. Mrsbug January 11, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    This would be fabulous with some pork loin. We had glazed onions for Thanksgiving (made with vidalia onions, mmmm, sweet) and they were amazing.

  5. Chiken January 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    @jeannemarie – I did that recently after cooking what would, I’m sure, have been a delicious frittata. I took it out of the over with mitts, but when I was getting ready to slice it I grabbed the handle with my bare hands. It was the worst pain I have ever felt, including childbirth. I had to walk around for days with a moist wrapping, or holding a pitcher of water with my hand inside. So I too have forsworn such recipes.