These ’Nduja Stuffed Onions from food writer Helen Graves feature a rich and tangy filling of rice, feta and ’nduja, a spreadable chilli-spiked pork sausage from Italy. Matched with a refreshing green salad, they make a flavoursome lunch – or try serving them as a punchy side dish for fish or meat.

Ingredients

  • 6 onions, peeled, both ends trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or grated
  • 150g ’nduja
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 150g basmati rice, rinsed until clear
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 romaine lettuce
  • ½ cucumber, finely sliced
  • 4 salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Make a cut lengthwise into each onion starting at the top (with the root end at the bottom), slicing halfway down to the middle – this makes it easy to separate the layers later. Simmer for 20 mins or until soft. Drain and leave to cool a little.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a large pan, cook the garlic for 1 min, then add the ’nduja; let it melt. Add the cumin, stock and rice. Cook for 7 mins, remove and stir (the rice will still be a little hard).
  3. Separate the onion layers until only the centre parts remain. Set the larger petals aside for stuffing; finely chop the centres.
  4. Combine the rice with the diced onion, lemon zest, parsley and feta; season with just a little salt and lots of black pepper.
  5. Stuff the onion petals with the rice and arrange stuffed-side down in a large baking dish (or use two smaller ones), packing them in tightly in one layer. Stuff any leftover rice into the gaps, pour in the wine, then scatter with parmesan and bake for 40 mins, or until golden.
  6. For the salad dressing, shake the vinegar, mustard, oil, sugar and a large pinch of salt in a clean lidded jar. Put the lettuce, cucumber, salad onions and avocado in a bowl, and pour over the dressing. Serve with the onions. Keep leftovers chilled for up to 1 day; reheat the onions until piping hot.
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