Grilled and Roasted Walla Walla Sweet Onions with Pine Nut Butter Recipe

from Tom Douglas of The Dahlia Lounge in Seattle

Chef Tom Douglas is famous nationwide for his unconditional love of great food. Here he illustrates how a Walla Walla Sweet Onion can go from simple to sophisticated with just a few chosen ingredients. At the Dahlia Lounge, these grilled, roasted and buttered onions are served as an appetizer on a bed of sauteed Swiss chard.

Servings: 4


  • 4 medium Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs for garnish


Toast the pine nuts in a 350 degree oven for 6 to 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool. Caution: pine nuts burn easily. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and fire up an outdoor grill. Peel onions and cut them in half, top to bottom. Brush onions with oil and place cut side down on the preheated grill. Barbecue until grill marks form. Place on a cookie sheet and finish cooking in the oven until tender, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pine nut butter. Place the 1/2 cup pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until finely ground. Add butter, lemon zest, rosemary, black pepper and salt. Process until mixture is well blended. Spread the tender onions liberally with pine nut butter. Return to the oven to cook just until butter is melted, about 2 minutes.

Serve onions warm, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and additional toasted pine nuts. Garnish plates with lemon wedges and rosemary sprigs.

Serves: 4 as an entree

8 as an appetizer