Big thanks to The Guardian for featuring me in their article about the top 10 vegetarian food blogs – I had over 13,500 hits in a week as a result. Wowzers!
Now for the recipe…. these little beauties would be an ideal veggie option for an omnivorous Sunday lunch. The meat-eaters could have one as their equivalent of ‘stuffing’ to go with a roast, whilst for the vegetarians they could be the main event surrounded by veg and roast potatoes. They look fiddly but in fact are a doddle to put together, and fill your kitchen with the delicious smell of cooking onions for a few hours. Yum!
- 4 large onions (red or white)
- 100g hazelnuts
- 100g bulgur wheat or cous-cous
- Handful sultanas
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes from a jar
- 100g feta (check its vegetarian)
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (adjust according to your taste)
- Handful chopped fresh mint, parsley or thyme, or a combination of all three!
- Handful finely grated parmesan-style or cheddar cheese
- With skins on, chop the top centimetre or so from each onion and wrap each one in foil. Bake at 180°C for an hour or until soft throughout. Leave to cool. For the last 5 minutes of cooking, pop the hazelnuts on a baking tray onto the bottom shelf and roast until starting to brown and skins become loose.
- Place bulgur wheat or cous cous along with the sultanas in a bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Finely chop the roasted hazelnuts and sun-dried tomatoes, (either by hand or in a small blender if you have one). Drain any excess liquid from the bulgur wheat/cous cous, then return to the bowl and mix in the hazelnuts and sun-dried tomatoes. Crumble in the feta, and sprinkle over the chilli flakes and fresh herbs, and mix gently to combine but without breaking up the feta too much.
- Unwrap the onions, and remove the skins. Gently pull/scoop out the centre of each onion, leaving just two layers in tact to stuff. Place these back on the baking tray. Take one third of the discarded insides, chop finely and add to the stuffing mixture. (Chop the remainder and keep in the fridge to add to pasta sauces, curries, chillis etc!).
- Carefully fill each onion with stuffing mixture, pressing down to ensure they are packed full. Scatter over the grated cheese and bake for 15 minutes until bubbling and browning on top.
Make it vegan: Just omit the feta and cheddar cheeses. If the mixture seems slightly dry, add a few tablespoons of vegetable stock. You may also need to adjust the seasoning to taste as feta is very salty, and a good squeeze of lemon juice would be a great addition. Firm tofu would also be a good feta alternative here, and a good source of protein too.