This reminds me of those restaurant dressings for salads and sauces for sandwiches that make every bite addicting, but you can’t quite put your finger on why. This is one of their secret sauces, I’m pretty sure of it!
The key to the secret lies in the sweet onion. While I love onions, I often find they can easily dominate the flavor of a delicate salad or sandwich. However, using a sweet onion in this sauce produces a complex flavor without revealing its true onion identity.
Speaking of identity, “sweet” is kind of a false name, since they aren’t actually sweeter than regular onions. No, really! The sugar content has been measured and it is no higher than regular onions. What makes them special, is that they have about 3 times less of the sulfurous compound that gives other onions their bite. That makes sweet onions milder and perfect for subtle hints of onions or even in onion rings.
Oh, and this is one of the best dipping sauces for chicken tenders. I know first hand because I’ve never grown up and still make them more than I should probably admit… But who’s judging?
Roasted Vidalia onion & garlic dressing / sauce
- 1 sweet onion (like vidalia)
- 4 cloves garlic with skin on*
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs mustard
PREPARE TO ROAST
Heat oven to 425 degrees
Cut ends off onions and peel them. Cut in half across the equator. Brush liberally with olive oil and place on roasting pan.
Separate cloves of garlic and brush with oil. Leave the skin on (or they will burn). If you don't have the skin on, brush with oil then wrap in foil. Place on roasting pan.
Roast until the edges char - if some are done early, take those ones out and return the rest. It should take about 45 minutes, but check after 25 minute to be safe.
Remove the garlic from the skins. Roughly chop the onion or pull it apart. Put the roasted onions, 1 garlic clove, and the remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.
Taste, add more garlic if you want, and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe notes & tips
- 85 calories for 2 Tbs: can’t beat that, right?! So if you want to pour a double serving all of your salad or use as a dipping sauce, it still is quite low in calories. Enjoy!
- Sweet onions might also go by the name of Vidalia or Walla Walla. They also don’t store long like ‘normal’ onions, so they aren’t as available year-round. You shouldn’t have trouble finding them between April and September.
- Save time: Skip the roasting for a more ‘spring time’ flavor. Grate the onion and add it right into the dressing. And mince the garlic, using only 1 clove (it’s more pungent when not roasted).
- Roasting garlic: you can also just roast a whole head (or 2) of garlic and save the extras for another use.
- Store: this stores well in the fridge for a week (maybe more, but I eat it right away). It also freezes well – put it in ice cube trays to freeze, then transfer to a plastic bag.