Grilled Onions with Spiced Butter


A woman I once cooked for said that our job as chefs is to “let the ingredients speak for themselves, but to help them out by turning the volume up.” Lovely spring onions are so good as part players in other dishes that they are often passed over as a side in their own right. This recipe, adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy, gives onions a bit of a lift and lets them show off on a platter all on their own.

  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • ¾ tsp Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 pinches salt
  1. Rinse the onions and let dry
  2. With the back of a wooden spoon, beat the butter until soft and smushy
  3. Add the 5 Spice, zest and salt and beat until well combined
  4. Transfer to plastic wrap or wax paper and roll into a log and refrigerate for as long as you have before serving
  5. Just before serving, cut the onions in half, keeping the root intact
  6. Toss the onions will safflower oil and a pinch of salt
  7. Grill over medium heat until the bulb of the onion is slightly tender
  8. Remove to a serving platter and top with rounds of the spice butter

This recipe is featured in the post:

grilling– chicories and purplette onions