It’s a funny thing about cookery books, at the last count I had well in excess of 100 but I haven’t cooked from all of them. Some of them are just beautiful to look at but a little impractical. Some are practical, every day reference books, perfect when you can’t remember what temperature to slow roast pork at or how to make a Victoria sponge. Some are great for creating inspirational meals. Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi manages to be both beautiful and inspirational; I have only had this book for 2 months and I have already made 7 of the recipes in it. I am also aware that this is the second time I have blogged about it but I make no apologies.
If I am a little obsessed with the book then I should let you know that I am seriously obsessed with these stuffed onions. I have made them four times already and will definitely be making them again (and again…).
I can’t remember the last time I followed a recipe and had absolutely no desire to change anything. I nearly always want to nudge a dish a little – add a bit more of this or a bit less of that, maybe use coriander instead of parsley, but this is perfect exactly as it is.
If you follow the recipe exactly too you will have quite a lot of left over onion and stock. Please don’t throw them away, make soup or start a stew, throw the onions in with your roast potatoes and add the stock to your gravy – do anything you like with them just don’t waste them.
I have served the stuffed onions as part of a meze style dinner with some vibrant salads (also from the book), as part of a vegetarian lunch with crusty bread to mop up the juices and as an accompaniment to roast lamb. You, of course, can serve them however you like but I promise you will fall in love with them.
A knob of butter
500 ml/ 1 Pint Vegetable Stock
350 ml / 12 fl oz White Wine
4 large Onions
3 small Tomatoes
120g / 4 oz fresh white Bread Crumbs
90g / 3 oz Feta (crumbled)
80g / 3 oz Parsey (finely chopped)
3 tbsp Olive Oil (plus extra to finish)
2 Clove Garlic (crushed)
3 Spring Onions (finely sliced)
3/4 tsp Salt
Pre-heat the Oven to 180° C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
Use the knob of butter to grease a small oven proof dish.
Place the stock and wine in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, trim 5mm off the top and bottom of the onions. Cut them in half, lengthways and remove the brown skin. Gently remove most of the insides retaining 2 or 3 of the outer layers. Carefully seperate the outer layers from each other and place them in the simmering stock a few at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender, drain and cool slightly. Keep the stock.
To make the stuffing, use a course cheese grater to grate the tomatoes (you will be left with most of the skin in your hand; discard it). Place the grated tomato in a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs, feta, parsley, olive oil, garlic, salt and some pepper.
Fill each onion layer generously with stuffing. Pull the sides together so you end up with a fat cigar shape. Place the stuffed onions, seam side down, in the buttered dish and pour over about 75 ml / 3 fl oz of the reserved stock, just to cover the bottom of the dish.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or so until the onions are soft and lightly coloured and the stuffing is bubbling; add more stock if they dry completely before the end of the cooking process. Drizzle with oil and serve warm.