Photo: Jennifer Causey

Both deserve a spot at dinner. 

Hannah Klinger
October 27, 2017

The holiday table makes room for vegetables we love but don't usually eat on their own. Mushrooms and onions often fade into the background in other dishes, but once roasted until rich and browned or slowly sautéed until sweet and meltingly tender, they not only shine brighter but elevate every dish around them. 

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Balsamic Onion and Thyme Tarte Tatin

We caramelize red onion wedges over low heat until sweet, tender, and translucent for a stained glass effect on the finished tart. Don’t worry if the wedges start to fall apart in the skillet; you want a mix of both individual onion petals and wedges for the filling. This is a case where the most beautiful result comes from the least effort: instead of arranging each onion piece, simply pour the whole mixture into the cake pan and smooth into an even layer.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Wild Mushroom and Barley Stuffing

This stuffing is full of hearty texture from chewy barley, crunchy pecans, and meaty mushrooms. Tart-sweet dried cherries and nutty Gruyère cheese build even more flavor for a substantial side guests will love. Swap the chicken stock for unsalted vegetable stock or water to make the dish vegetarian. Reheat leftovers with a splash of stock for a slightly looser, though equally delicious, stuffing.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Balsamic-Glazed Pearl Onions

Deeply caramelized with balsamic vinegar until glossy and browned, these sweet and tangy jewels are a gorgeous addition to your holiday plate. We actually prefer frozen, peeled pearl onions over fresh for convenience; you save a lot of time by not peeling fresh pearl onions. You will be tempted to stir the pan frequently as the liquid reduces, but the onions need time to cook undisturbed in order to get deeply browned. Keep the heat low so the liquid in the pan doesn’t dry up too quickly.

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Garlic-Caper Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted mushrooms are a revelation—intensely savory yet still tender and juicy. The mushrooms transform again once tossed with garlic butter, briny capers, and fresh lemon. Use cremini or baby bella mushrooms here—white button mushrooms are too mild. Dress the mushrooms right after roasting so the mixture stays vibrant. Both earthy and bright, this dish pairs well with any combination of fall dishes.