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Whole Onions Stuffed with
Pine Nuts and Basil



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Whole Onions Stuffed with
Pine Nuts and Basil

Onions – A Country Garden Cookbook
by Jesse Ziff Cool, 1995, Collins Publishers San Francisco


"Stuffed onions were popular on European dining tables in the late
1800s. This rendition is a spin-off of a recipe my grandmother used for
stuffing artichokes. Seek out the Red Torpedo variety for a particularly
spectacular presentation."

3 tablespoons pine nuts
6 medium-sized red, yellow or white
onions, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 heaping tablespoons grated
Asiago cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black
pepper, to taste
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
3 to 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the pine nuts in a small pan and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set the nuts aside. Leave the oven set at 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, peel off the onion skins. Cut off the stem end from each onion, but leave the root end intact. Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the onions and boil for approximately 15 minutes, or until slightly softened. Drain and immerse in cold water to cool.
When the onions are cool, drain well. Cut a slice about 3/4 inch thick off the top of each onion. Scoop out as much of the onion flesh as you can, leaving as thin a shell as possible, but one that will maintain its shape during baking. Set the shells aside. Finely chop the removed onion pulp.
To make the stuffing, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic, basil, Asiago cheese, toasted pine nuts and chopped onion. Stir to mix well. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and eggs until blended. Pour the oil mixture into the bread crumb mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Add a little water as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper.
Using a sharp knife, cut off the root end of each onion. Fill each onion cavity with an equal amount of the stuffing.
Place the stuffed onions, root end down, in a medium-sized roasting pan. Pour the water or stock and the balsamic vinegar into the pan. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove the foil, raise the heat to 375 degrees F. and roast for another 15 minutes, or until the onions are tender when pierced and the stuffing is browned. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

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