nigel’s top ten – baked onions with parmesan cream

we ate the zuni roast chicken with nigel slater’s baked onions with parmesan cream, plus brown rice which is his suggested accompaniment for the onions. i was expecting a rich dish which is why i went with the brown rice suggestion but it all sounded a bit austere (how i can say that given the amount of cream in the recipe i don’t know but onions are such a non main vegetable for me that having “onions and brown rice” was thoroughly unappealing).

so, how did i get on?

it’s another quick and easy dish to pull together and once you work out the timings it’s easy to ensure everything is ready at the same time. the onions are incredibly rich and brown rice is a fantastic suggestion as an accompaniment. i think i’d add a green salad too. they also went well with the chicken – reminding me of the more usual creamy accompaniments such as bread or last lick sauce.

the final verdict:

would i have tried this recipe if it hadn't been part of nigel’s top ten? nope, definitely not

would i try this recipe again in the future? no. there’s nothing wrong with it but you do need to like very rich, creamy and gently flavoured dishes. and onions. i’d rather have something like cauliflower cheese. i did like the way it continued to bubble away for quite a while after being taken out of the oven - as you can see in the picture above.

baked onions with parmesan and cream (february 2004) serves 2-3 with rice

4 medium to large onions

300ml whipping or double cream

leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme

a good handful of grated parmesan

to serve: steamed brown rice for 4

set the oven at 180c/gas mark 4. peel the onions and bring to the boil in a large, deep pot of water. leave at a bright simmer for about 25 minutes until tender. lift them out with a draining spoon. slice the onions in half from root to tip and put them cut-side down in an ovenproof dish. mix the cream and thyme leaves and tip over the onions. season with salt, pepper and the grated parmesan and bake for 25-35 minutes till golden and bubbling.