Thursday, January 2, 2014

Stuffed Onions--Why Bother?

The other day, when my sister saw me preparing this dish for my guests, she wondered who and why would bother stuffing onions. And why not, if we stuff bell peppers, or tomatoes or zucchinis, for example. The question however seemed entirely rhetoric after she tried the dish and loved it.

Although I was afraid that my onions would be too sweet, they turned out perfectly balanced in taste and texture deriving from the contrasted ingredients. They were soft, yet not mushy. Slight sweetness of the onion matched the stronger in taste filling made of goat chees and sun-dried tomatoes, while pine nuts added some crunchiness to it.

Yes, stuffing onions seems rather labor intensive as many stuffed dishes but if you prepare an easy filling and cook the onions first, the dish can be easily assembled at a later stage so that if you want to serve it to your guests, it can be baked just before they arrive. I served it with roasted lamb, but serving it with any roasted dark meats would be fine as well. It can also be served alone as a full vegetarian dish just with green salads, breads, and a glass of wine.

Stuffed Onions

4 large yellow onions (regular, not the sweet ones),
1/2 cup goat cheese,
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs,
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped,
2 garlic cloves, chopped,
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme,
2 tbsp fresh, chopped parsley,
1 egg,
1/4 cup pine nuts,
3 tbsp olive oil,
salt and pepper.

1. Peel the onions. Boil a large pot of water with 1 tbsp of salt. Add onions and boil on a small heat for about 10 minutes. Drain them on a colander and let them cool, while preparing the filling.

2. In a medium bol mix crumbled cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, and spices until well combined.
3. Preheat oven to 375F.
4. Grease the bottom of an oven-proof dish with 2 tbsp of olive oil.
5. Cut the onions in halves, cut off the yellow ends. Take the center flesh out from each of the halves leaving about 3 outer layers of the onion to create a thick shell. Chop the remining insides and put on the bottom of the dish.
6. Fill the onion halves with stuffing and place them on an oven-proof dish.

7. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil. drizzle the onion tops with one tbsp of oil and bake them for another 25-30 minutes, until the stuffing is bubbling and dark gold.

Serve hot.

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