Roasted stuffed onions

The humble onion rarely gets showcased centre stage
My mother used to stuff half onion shells with sausage meat,cheddar cheese and white breadcrumbs and serve them with a rich tomato sauce,something I will never forget.Sausage-stuffed onions turn a humble staple veg into the vessel for a warming late winter meal. Stuffed into a cored onion, this meaty melty creation is as delicate as it is delicious. Serve it with garlic mashed potatoes if you want to make it more of a complete meal,or just serve them on their own as a light supper.For all stuffing lovers - those who can't be bothered with the outside but dig through anything straight into the prized, comforting centre - this recipe is one for you.Thin, soft onion skins are the minimal casing for a deliciously robust filling. Stuffed veg is always a winner,and as the savoury filling seeps into its slow‑cooked casing it creates melting parcels of myriad flavours. Sausage and onion are a particularly good combo in terms of texture and taste.What a great joy to open up a rolled onion to find a savoury, meaty cheesy crumbed filling!There’s been a lot of old bread knocking about our bin since my New Year’s resolution. Luckily, I find it hard not to put breadcrumbs in and on everything nowadays.There are vegetarian renditions of stuffed onions, too.Look for large red onions. They have a robust flavour and look better than pale yellow onions when cooked.
Roasted stuffed onions 

Serves 4 as a main,perhaps with something else

brown onions 8 medium

1 stick celery,finely chopped
1 shallot,finely choppesd
stale bread 75g, cut into 1cm cubes
whole milk 75ml
sausages 4 (about 300g total)
thyme 4 sprigs
fresh sage 1 sprig
fresh oregano 1 sprig
fresh rosemary 1 sprig
mozzarella or taleggio 120g, diced

toasted breadcrumbs for garnish
Peel the onions and cut off the tops and bottoms so that both ends are level, reserving the cut ends. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the onions for about 5 minutes until the layers are softened and pliable. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Using a teaspoon, hollow out the inside of the onions, leaving a ¼-to ½-inch/0,06- to 1-cm shell. Finely chop the inner sheaves, together with the reserved tops and bottoms.
Preheat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Cover the bottom of a small baking pan with coarse salt and add the onions, scattering with a little more salt. Bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. To state the obvious, the larger the onions, the longer they take, so use good judgement. Remove and leave till cool enough to handle. In a bowl, sprinkle the bread with milk. Cut the sausages open, remove the meat and add to the bowl.Mix in the cheese My sausages were garlicky already; if yours aren’t, add a chopped clove of garlic, too. Pick the leaves from the herbs and add half of them to the bowl with a twist of pepper.
 Use a teaspoon to remove the insides, leaving but a few layers. Chop the onion insides a little and add to the stuffing, before refilling the onions and baking once more for 15 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and turn the heat up to 220C/gas mark 7. Toss the remaining herbs in a little oil and use to top the onions, along with the toasted breadcrumbs Return the pan to the oven and bake until golden – about 10 minutes.


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