thanksgiving: thyme-roasted apples + onions
When it comes to sides for the Thanksgiving dinner table, there can never be too many. Of course I always want the staples like sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green beans, the list could go on, but I also like to add in a few surprises to the mix. That’s where these lovely thyme-roasted apples and onions would come in to play. They’re full of flavor and are the perfect dish for a big old mash up. You know, a little turkey, a little potato, a little onion and apple all in one forkful.
This recipe immediately caught my eye because it uses an apple cider reduction (be still my heart!). The reduction coats the apples and onions and it, along with the thyme, infuse into them both. It actually took a bit longer than I anticipated due to the cider reduction and fairly long roasting time.
When I couldn’t take it any longer I pulled the apples and onions out of the oven and took a nice big whiff. The aroma is intense and awesome. The onions begin to get all nice and caramelized while the thyme brings a lovely savory note to the whole shebang. The thing is this side dish just screams for a partner, so instead of the turkey and potatoes, I spooned it over some couscous and put a little merguez sausage over top. Pretty awesome, if I do say myself and it’s just as good the next day. And that’s the true sign of a good Thanksgiving dish, whether it gets better with time. I’m happy to say this passed the test.
thyme-roasted apples + onions
from November 2009 Bon Appetit
I divided this in half and it worked well. I also only roasted it for about half the suggested time, and it still turned out tasty.
4 cups apple cider
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
6 7-to 8-ounce onions, halved through root end, each half cut into 6 wedges
6 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, divided
6 Braeburn (or Fuji) apples (about 2 3/4 pounds total), peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 4 wedges
Boil cider in large saucepan until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 28 minutes.
Whisk in butter. Season glaze with 1 teaspoon coarse salt.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm; whisk before using.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F.
Butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toss onions in large bowl with 2 teaspoons thyme and 3 tablespoons glaze. Arrange in single layer on 1 sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast onions on upper oven rack 10 minutes.
In the meantime, toss apples in same bowl with 2 teaspoons thyme and 3 tablespoons glaze. Arrange in single layer on second sheet. Sprinkle apples with coarse salt and pepper. Place the apples on the bottom rack and roast both the apples and onions for 20 minutes.
Remove both sheets from oven. Drizzle remaining glaze evenly over onions and apples. Reverse position of sheets. Roast 20 minutes longer.
Increase oven temperature to 475°F. Roast onions and apples until tender and slightly caramelized, watching closely to prevent burning, about 10 minutes longer.
Transfer onions and apples to large bowl. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons thyme.