April Bloomfield, the executive chef and co-owner of one of our favourite restaurants The Spotted Pig (above), has very kindly shared a recipe for Thanksgiving from her upcoming book A Girl and Her Pig (Ecco).
ROASTED ONIONS WITH SAGE PESTO
A Note on Young Onions: The ideal onions for this recipe are the red ones you find at farmers markets in the springtime and fall with their greens attached. They’re larger and rounder than spring onions, about the size of a tennis ball, and lack the sharpness of the red onions you find at the supermarket. I’m reluctant to say that you can substitute regular red onions, because the result won’t be quite as sweet and delicious. Reluctant, but not opposed.
6 young red onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
A few spoonfuls Sage Pesto (see below)
Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Cut off the greens from the onions, leaving just ½ inch of the stem. Peel off the thin outer layer of each onion and trim the spidery roots but make sure to leave the little knob intact, which will keep the onions from falling apart as they cook. Halve each onion lengthwise, add them to a bowl, and toss them with 4 healthy pinches of Maldon sea salt so the salt adheres to them.
Find a shallow oven-proof pan wide enough to hold the onion halves in a single layer with a little room to spare. Pour in the oil and set the pan over high heat until the oil just begins to smoke, then turn down the heat to medium. Carefully add the onions cut sides down to the hot oil, and cook, using tongs to peek under the onions occasionally, until you see spots of golden brown on the cut sides, 5 to 10 minutes.
Put the pan in the oven, and cook until the cut sides have even more of that golden brown color but no black spots, about 25 minutes. Carefully turn them over with tongs, turn up the heat to 450 F, and keep cooking until the onions are very soft but not falling apart, about 35 minutes more.
Arrange the onions prettily on a plate and spoon the sage pesto here and there.
Makes about 1 cup
2 small handfuls sage leaves
1/2 medium garlic clove, rustically chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated
1 teaspoon Maldon salt
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Put the sage leaves into the food processor, then add the garlic, pine nuts, cheese, and salt. (If your processor is really small, work in batches.) Pulse three or four times, then process full-on, slowly and steadily pouring in the oil (you may not use it all, depending on how big your basil handfuls are) until it’s pretty smooth. I like to leave it a little chunky, but you can make it as chunky or smooth as you like.
Copyright: A Girl and Her Pig