Roasted Baby Vidalia Onions and Cherry Tomatoes – tiny new Vidalia onions, are slow roasted with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh thyme.
As you probably know, the state of Georgia has a proud agricultural heritage. We started out as an agrarian society and outside of the major metro areas remain so today.
Some of the products Georgia is best known for include peaches, pecans, peanuts, poultry, and Vidalia onions. Now, I won’t even begin to get into that debate about whose onions are sweeter, Walla Walla or Vidalia, but with me being a through-and-through southerner and all, you can probably guess where my preference lies.
Vidalias are grown in a specific geographic area where the soil, temperature and environment all come together in a perfect mix to create these lovely sweet onions. The backstory of Vidalia onions, according to the Vidalia Onion web site, goes like this:
How Vidalia Onions Came To Be
What is now a deeply-entrenched summer tradition started out as a fluke. During the tough days of the Great Depression, farmers had high hopes of a new cash crop. These hard-working men had grown everything from corn to cotton in Georgia’s sandy soil, and onions seemed to hold some promise of better profits. Imagine their surprise and concern when what grew was not an instant money-maker but a strange onion that wasn’t hot!
Soon, word of “those sweet onions from Vidalia” began to spread throughout the state, and a name was born. As fortune would have it, Piggly Wiggly grocery store happened to be headquartered in Vidalia. Recognizing the potential of the peculiar produce, the gentlemen who ran “The Pig” gladly helped farmers from all over the Vidalia area get their newfound sweeties on store shelves.
As their onion began its ascent to national fame, local support soared. Vidalia onions had their own annual festival in Glenville, Georgia by 1977 and in Vidalia, Georgia by 1978, traditions that continues today. In 1990, Vidalia onions became the Official State Vegetable of Georgia. From the local market in the 1940s to the national super stores of today, the popularity of Vidalia Onions continues to escalate. No longer just a “southern thing,” Vidalias are available in 50 states and most of Canada.
Mature Vidalia onions are only available fresh from April through mid-September, but for a couple of months during the winter these delicious baby Vidalias come to the market. If you can get your hands on some, grab them and make this little side dish. It’s great along with baked chicken or even served bruschetta style on a slice of toasted baguette.
How to Make Roasted Baby Vidalia Onions and Cherry Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
First, prepare the onions by removing a small slice from the root end and any limp or brown stems.
Then cut each in half lengthwise.
Next, prepare the cherry tomatoes by slicing in half.
Then place the onions and tomato halves on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Scatter the thyme over the baking sheet.
Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables. I used a garlic-infused olive oil, but the good plain stuff is fine.
With your impeccably clean hands, toss everything until all the ingredients are coated with olive oil.
Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the onions and tomatoes are wilted and lightly browned.
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Roasted Baby Vidalia Onions and Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 bunch baby Vidalia onions
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 stems fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the onions by removing a small slice from the root end and any limp or brown green stems. Cut each in half lengthwise. Prepare the cherry tomatoes by slicing in half.
- Place the onions and tomato halves on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Scatter the thyme over the baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over the pan. Using your hands, toss until all ingredients are coated with olive oil.
- Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the onions and tomatoes are wilted and lightly browned.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.