side dishes

Blooming Nightshade

By 01/01/2022September 19th, 2022No Comments

It seems fitting that these last few days of 2021 here in Southern California brought us days and days of rain. Constant rain, not the usual light sprinkle at night that clears by morning. No, this was real rain…for about a week. A cleansing of the dust and damage of the past 12 months that clears a path to start fresh in the new year. I love marking the New Year, not because I set unrealistic resolutions, but because its a do over. Like starting a new season after a losing season, it’s another chance to do better. I like to use this time to refocus my energies and set intentions for myself…especially for self- care. As a mother of 2 sons, it’s easy to get lost in the day to day and at the end of each day realize I did nothing I intended to do for myself. By year end, coupled with the demands of the holidays, self care vanishes and I find myself completely spent. So as I look to set my intentions for myself for 2022, I see lots of nature around me. I see time spent in my garden to replant and grow. I see lots of  neighborhood walks through tree-lined streets and lots of hiking of less traveled paths to heal my soul and quiet my mind. I see lots of time in my kitchen preparing healthy beautiful meals to nourish my body.  I see time spent reading and writing to feed my mind and, making and creating to keep my hands and heart happy.  I hope that you’ll join me and set your own intentions to take care of the most important person in the world…YOU!

You’ll find lots of edible, and not so edible flowers in a witches garden, so for this recipe, I decided to play on the idea of deadly Nightshade. Even though onions are not part of the nightshade family, I chose two types of onions, which are part of the Lily family, to make this beautiful blooming onion bouquet.  The red onions are sliced and baked whole in a bath of miso butter until they literally bloom in the oven.  Pan sear the green onion bulbs and plate to create this gorgeously dark and delicious Asian inspired side dish.

Happy New Year Beautiful Witches!

Blooming Nightshade

Sliced red onions are baked whole in a miso butter bath until they bloom and plated with green onion bulbs to create this deliciously gorgeous side dish.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Halloween Food
Keyword: blooming onions, butter, Halloween, miso, onions, witches garden
Servings: 6


  • 6 small red onions (about 4 inches in diameter)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tbsp. white miso paste
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 6 green onions with bulbs (garnish)
  • cilantro, chopped (garnish)
  • black sesame seeds (garnish)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Cut onions into flowers: Make 4 vertical cuts going only part way through each unpeeled onion to create 8 wedges that are still attached to the root end. Remove papery skins. Cut a very small slice off the root end off the onions so that the onions can stand up in an 9 x 13-inch oven safe baking dish.
  • Pour water, miso, and butter into a small saucepan and heat on medium high until miso and butter melt. Pour miso mixture over onions, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or so until the onions bloom. Some may not open on their own and will need a little coaxing once plated.
  • As the red onions bake, pan fry the green onions with a small amount of oil until the bulbs are slightly browned and the greens are wilted. Remove from pan and dip the bulb ends into black sesame seeds to mimic dirt clinging to freshly picked bulbs. Arrange on serving platter and set aside.
  • Transfer onion blooms to the serving platter, top with chopped cilantro for garnish. Pour miso butter over onions and serve.

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