Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oven-Baked Onion Blossom...

Oh what fun!! When I came across National Onion Rings Day on June 22nd, I thought wow, there's a National Day for everything-- donuts, pies, now onion rings! Also enjoyed deeply in United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and some parts of Asia, onion rings exact origin are unknown. 
Instead of home deep frying individual battered onion rings (which I love by the way) to avoid the oily mess and high calories, whole onion blossom came to mind, but a healthier and the oven-baked kind. Plus its so pretty to create and look at before digging into. I happily found an easy recipe on Gimme Some Oven, and off I went. The trick is to coat each cut separated onion petals with a bunch of seasoned panko. It is definitely different than deep-fried, but the panko made this blooming onion crispy light, flavourful, and a really fun appetizer to share with friends and family. Dipped in a creamy spicy sauce, and you're in fun-ion heaven :)!

Oven-Baked Blooming Onion (Adapted from

1 large Vidalia onion (or any yellow onion)
2/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. Cajun or blackening seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg

NOTE: Instead of Cajun seasoning, substitute in Italian seasonings or paprika/smoked paprika with salt and pepper. 

Spicy Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or mayo)
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. horseradish sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. oregano

Dip Variations: ketchup, ketchup and mayo, ranch dip, honey mustard.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Panko, Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and salt until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg.

I've had this special Cajun Spice blend from my great friend late Chef  Fred for years. Although the spices have muted 
(I doctored it with paprika, salt and pepper) I was happy to bring it out from my pantry 
to bring a little spicy spirit of my dear friend Fred into my onion blossom.

Preheat oven to 400 F. On a cutting board, use a knife to cut off the top (not the root) 1/4-inch of the onion until a few of the inside layers are exposed. Peel the outermost layer of the onion down to the root, but leave the root intact.

Lay the onion on the cutting board so that the flat side (that you just cut) is facing downward. Then use a knife to section the onion into 16ths, beginning with your knife 1/8-inch away from the root and cutting straight down. Once all cuts are complete, turn the onion over and set on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Then use your fingers to gently spread apart the petals. If any of your cuts did not go all the way through, you can use a paring knife to be sure that the entire onion is cut into 16ths.

Beginning with the lowest (bottom) layers of the onion, brush the top of each petal with the egg mixture until coated, then immediately sprinkle with the Panko mixture. Repeat until all petals are coated. (The panko won't totally "stick" when the egg is wet, but just press it on with your fingers.) It is kind of tedious, but worth it!

Carefully form a tent with aluminum foil over the baking sheet until the onion is completely enclosed. Bake for five minutes, then remove tent and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the onion is soft and the tips are lightly crisped.

Remove and serve with desired sauces-- whisk all ingredients together until combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to one week.

Gorgeous, crispy tips and sweet! The more time you spend coating each petal, the crispier the results!

My kids loved the blossom! My youngest Matias is partial to onions, but was taken to it, plucking the petals off, dipping them and feeding it to us with a "yummy right?" Music to a momma's ears!

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