Alex Guarnaschelli's Upscale Take On A Blooming Onion Is Turning Heads

Whatever you call the onion dish Alex Guarnaschelli created on the October 23 episode of "The Kitchen," don't call it a Bloomin' Onion. For one thing, Outback Steakhouse's online menu indicates the chain has the name trademarked (no "g," with the apostrophe). For another thing, Outback Steakhouse breads and deep-fries its super colossal-sized onions (via The Daily Meal), whereas Guarnaschelli boils and then bakes her ordinary-sized red onions, per Food Network's website.

Then again, Guarnaschelli's onion creations sure do look like flowers. The celebrity chef calls them flowering red onions, and they look pretty enough to pick on Food Network's website: reddish-purple in color and tinged with brown at the tips. Guarnaschelli tweeted a photo of the flowering onions and a promo for "The Kitchen" a few hours before the cooking-and-talk show's air time. "Sweet & sour 'flowering' onions make a fun side dish as we all ramp up for #thanksgiving with great dinner party recipes on 'The Kitchen,'" Guarnaschelli wrote.

Guarnaschelli's flowering red onions are a striking side dish

Alex Guarnaschelli's sweet and sour flowering red onions get their sweetness, in part, from the chef's choice of red onions over yellow, according to the Food Network website. The red onion also brings a more striking color to your dinner party spread. But the "sweet and sour" actually comes from a red wine vinegar and brown sugar sauce that gets drizzled over the onions after they come out of the oven.

Guarnaschelli's fans on Twitter were impressed and inspired. "Those look adorable," @HopeStSouth tweeted. "Thanks for the idea for supper tonight," @WhiteOzzRandy said. "My wife will be impressed." Twitter user Katherine Dicken took the flowering onion party down a notch or two with an important warning: You might need to throw away your onions, due to a salmonella outbreak. "Not sure I would do an onion dish with a recall on the main ingredient because it is making people sick in 37 states. Per the CDC," Dicken tweeted.