Braised stuffed white onion

Braised Stuffed White Onion. Photograph: Emma Jervis
Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 1 hr 30 mins


  • 4 large white onions, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 300g cooked rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 100g Parmesan, finely grated (you could use a mild cheddar if you have some in the fridge)
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped

This dish is a real surprise, so simple and full of flavour from simple ingredients. Use the remaining onion water in a soup or as a hot drink.

1. In a pan, put the onions with the bay leaf, thyme and garlic. Cover completely with water and bring to the boil. Simmer over a medium heat for about one hour, topping up with water when necessary until the onions are very soft.

2. In the meantime, make the tomato sauce. Empty the tin of tomatoes into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and then add 50ml of olive oil and allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes on a medium heat, as the oil will cook the tomatoes. Finally, crush the garlic and mix well.

3. In a bowl mix the rice, 50ml of olive oil, half the grated Parmesan and half the chopped parsley. Season to taste.

4. Once the onions are cooked, remove them from the water (keep this) and let them cool. When able to handle them, cut each onion in half and remove the centres. Stuff the outer rings with the rice mixture.

5. Chop up the onion centres and add to the tomato sauce.

6. Take an ovenproof dish and pour the tomato sauce and two ladles of the onion water into the bottom of the dish. Gently place the stuffed onion halves on top.

7. Heat your grill to its highest setting. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top of the onions first, followed by the remaining Parmesan, and place under the grill until the dish is nicely glazed.

8. Serve as is with lightly dressed salad leaves and some boiled potatoes.