Onions – the unsaluted ingredient we use daily in our kitchens, adding depth, flavour and an undeniable undernote to dishes – earthy and grounding. Use them raw for a sharp bite, or slightly pickled for a sweet bite. Blanched in hot water they become mellow. Sauteed quickly they give texture and flavour. Caramelised slowly to a soft brown jam they add sweetness and umami. Deep fried, they are crisp and delicious. The humble onion.
Red onions particularly have a sweetness, and today we amplify that by roasting them quite simply, just brushed with oil, then serving the sweet, many leaved onions with a salsa of walnuts on a bed of rocket. A delicious and quite more-ish combination that salutes the onion, allowing it centre stage in this dish.
“The natural sweetness of red onions is accentuated when they’re grilled or baked, which gives them enough individual character to take centre stage for a change – I like them in a bread roll with some mayonnaise and a slice of mature cheddar or feta. You can also barbecue them, which adds a certain smoky charm.”
This is an Ottolenghi dish from Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
Today’s recipe is so very simple – unusual for Ottolenghi. It is done in under 30 mins, most of which is the cooking time for the onions. The salsa is an easy one, made in the food processor. Altogether it is an unusually no-fuss recipe from the Master of Flavours, perfect for weeknights.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Onion recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.