Well that’s what Jamie Oliver says and after making these I have to agree with him!  I love using onions but for the most part they’re usually mixed in with other ingredients so it’s nice to have them shine on their own.  Onions, are members of the Allium family (garlic, shallot, scallion), and are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects.  Studies have shown that onions can help increase bone density and there is evidence that women who have passed the age of menopause may be able to lower their risk of hip fracture through frequent consumption of onions. Onions should be firm and heavy for their size. Avoid onions that have sprouted or that have an odor, or that have green or moldy blemishes. If you’re eyes water while cutting onions, try chilling them first, then peeling them under running water (water absorbs the onion’s gas).

Serves 4
adapted from Jamie Oliver, Happy Days with the Naked Chef

4 white onions (about the size of a tennis ball), peeled
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, lower leaves picked and chopped
8 tablespoons heavy cream
grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices pancetta or 4 slices bacon

Preheat the oven to 200c (400°f). Boil the onions in plenty of water for 15 minutes or until slightly tender. Remove the onions from the pot and allow to cool. With a sharp knife, remove the top inch of each onion, finely chop and place to one side. Slightly trim the stalk end of the onions so that the onions will sit flat on a roasting tray. Taking care to keep the outside of each onion intact, cut about a heaped tablespoon of onion out from the inside of each onion. Finely chop these removed sections of the onion and add to the rest of the chopped onion.

Heat a sauté pan and add a little olive oil, garlic, chopped onions, and a little of the chopped rosemary. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic and onion have softened. Turn the heat down, add the cream and remove the onions and garlic from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and season. Wrap a slice of pancetta or bacon around the middle of each onion and spike it in place with a sharpened twig of rosemary or a wooden toothpick. Place the onions on a roasting tray and spoon some of the chopped onion mixture inside each one. Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until the onions are soft and tender.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
These were scrumptious and as the onions were baking, the aromas coming from the kitchen reminded me of potato scallop…yum!  Serve this as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to the main meal.  Enjoy!

8 Comments

  1. Kimberley on April 27, 2011 at 20:29

    I have a weakness for onions that I rarely admit to! I tend to forget, however, how great they can be roasted whole. Can’t wait to try this.



  2. The Culinary Chase on April 27, 2011 at 22:22

    Thanks Kimberley. These really do taste fantastic and aren’t too fussy to prepare. Cheers!



  3. The Culinary Chase on April 28, 2011 at 14:13

    I submitted 3 comments on the onions today using name, url and each time I got the please join Blogger screen. I did try, honestly. 🙂

    In case any of them actually survived, I wrote the comment that said, “I never met an onion I didn’t like and these are love at first site. I’m going to try making them and if I get mine to look 1/3 as good as yours I’ll be a winner.”

    If you can put that in for me, I’d be grateful. LOL

    All the best,

    Maureen Shaw
    orgasmicchef.com



  4. The Culinary Chase on April 28, 2011 at 14:15

    Thanks Maureen! Not too sure why you weren’t able to post a comment…perhaps Blogger was experiencing a glitch? Anyway, I posted your note above. 🙂
    Cheers!



  5. The Curious Cat on April 29, 2011 at 19:34

    yum this sounds good! Will try sometime! xxx Hope it isn’t too difficult to peel the onion and still keep it intact!



  6. sheila @ Elements on May 4, 2011 at 17:10

    These look wonderful!!! I can’t wait to try them! 🙂



  7. The Culinary Chase on May 5, 2011 at 00:59

    Thanks Curious and Sheila. Please do give them a bash…you won’t be disappointed you did! Cheers!



  8. Three-Cookies on May 8, 2011 at 13:27

    I’ve never tried bacon wrapped baked onion but I do love baked onion. Will give this a try, thanks for the inspiration