Green Salad Ideas: How To Grill Onions

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Makes 4 servings
Grilled onions taste slightly smoky and sweet. They make a fantastic topping for salads. Leftovers also taste great stuffed into pita pockets with veggies and tofu or meat. If you don’t have a covered grill or porch for winter grilling, use a grill pan on top of the range.

• 4 medium onions
• Olive oil
• 2 teaspoons dried basil, oregano or thyme
• Salt
• ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1. Cut off ends of onions. Peel back and remove skins. Slice onions into rounds, about 3½ inches thick (not too thin or they’ll stick, burn or fall through the grill grates). Brush both sides of onion rings with olive oil. Dust with herbs, salt and pepper.

2. On the grill: Preheat grill to high. Turn to medium-low to cook. Cook onions for 5 to 7 minutes per side, or until dark around the edges and rings begin to soften and separate. Do not allow them to burn.

3. In grill pan: Lightly brush a large grill pan with oil and warm on moderate heat until piping hot. Arrange onion rings over the bottom of the pan. (Cook in two batches if they don’t all fit). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until slightly charred and rings begin to separate.

4. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold. Refrigerate leftovers and use within 4 days. Serve cold over salads or stuffed with salad and leftover fish, poultry, meat or tofu into whole-wheat pita pocket breads.

Rachel Albert-Matesz, a food and health writer, healthy cooking coach and co-author of the award-winning book The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook (Planetary Press, 2004) lives in Phoenix. For more information about her book, classes and services, visit

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