Grilled red onions

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Grilled red onions
Dr. Kerry Litman sharing great news from the Fontana Kaiser Permanente facility writes "Just wanted to give you a progress report from Fontana: Our FM is going strong, beginning its second year with a move from every 2 weeks to every week, which should make it even more successful. We are also tying it in with other healthy activities, such as a booth by Prev Med every week, a walk around the medical center that passes the market, gift certificates to the market as prizes in recipe contests, etc. We will start sending recipes with available produce to our docs and staff." As some of our markets get established, others are being created. On June 2nd the Roseville Kaiser Permanente Medical center will open with six vendors. I am told that the farmers in that area really appreciate the opportunity to come to our medical center. June 16th will bring the opening of the Sacramento Kaiser Permanente market. I have heard from a number of people that they think my recipes are way too fancy and that they never cook at home. If you are in the category of "never cook at home," at least it's possible to make healthy choices, even at many "fast" food restaurants. Paying attention to basics like whole grains, no trans fat, limited overall fat and reasonable portion size can make a difference. Maybe even the “never cook” group of diners will grill something to put on a bun at least once this year. This week's recipe is just the ticket as an accompaniment for a grilled meal. I got a simple tip from a great cook in the family that has changed my life. Using a toothpick in red onions prevents them from falling apart on the grill. This may be the simplest recipe of the week so far. These are great on any version of "burger," be it chicken, turkey or salmon etc.


  • Red onions, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar


It's harder to describe than to slice the onion. Maybe it's "crosswise" or like the latitude lines on a globe, but it's not lengthwise from stem to root. (Hint: you want to end up with thick rounds of onion that look like those redwood tree cross-sections in Muir Woods.) Insert a toothpick all the way to the center, parallel to the cut surfaces of each onion slice. Drizzle them with a little balsamic vinegar either before or after grilling. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until you see those grill marks and the onions are crisp tender.

Nutrition Information (per serving)