We have used a lot more onion in our cooking this summer, save for a few allium free events. Onions, good, sweet, heady, biting and clean add a tremendous amount of character to the simplest of dishes. Our remote location has certainly caused me to crave the cooking of others. I miss the smell of the ocean mingling with the aroma of a burger grilling and the sweet smell of tomatoes and onions sliced and lined up on a platter ready to compliment the burger and my vision of a summer evening. One of the most difficult aspects in eating that burger or using onion in cooking is finding the right balance. Today we fine tuned a means in which we are able to at least break down the onion and tame its rougher edges so that the diner can integrate as much or as little onion as they desire in the dish. We made pearls of onion. The pearls are actually a blend of onion and Parmesan since we cooked the onions in Parmesan broth. That blend worked well in the dish since I was mimicking a grilled burger with cheese. Instead of a burger, we used griddled shortribs. As for the tomato we decided to cut it into fillets, salt them, stack them and then compress them into a thick tomato terrine. Thankfully we thought of this tomato compression before the end of tomato season for I see many great evolutions with this technique on tomatoes. A few leaves of celery finished the dish.
The pearls of onion allow the diner to take bites of shortib with varying amounts of onion. Similarly, the dense tomato mirrors the firm yet melting texture of the shortrib. I suppose we could have brought the element of griddled bread into the dish, though really that might just be overkill.