Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of onions, and when combined with some fresh thyme, smoky bacon and maple syrup, they make a versatile, delicious side dish. Serve alongside roast beef or pork, ham, turkey or chicken.Print
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 lb pearl onions, blanched, trimmed and peeled (see below)
- 1 large red onion, sliced into 3/8-inch thick slices
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced into 3/8-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray.
- Fry the bacon until moderately crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon of the fat and set aside.
- Place the pearl onions, red onions and sweet onions in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Drizzle with the reserved bacon fat and olive oil. Toss again to coat lightly and season with salt and pepper.
- Scatter the onions as evenly as possible on the baking sheet and roast for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.
- Remove the onions from the oven and place in a bowl. Drizzle with the maple syrup and add the thyme leaves and bacon. Combine well and place back on the baking sheet. Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer to a serving bowl.
To peel pearl onions easily, immerse them in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes, then plunge them into ice water for an additional 2 minutes. Drain and cut off the root end of the onion and squeeze gently from the opposite end. The onion should slip out of its skin fairly easily.