|Nigel Slater's mustardy baked onions|
You will need to steam or boil the onions before baking, to keep the flesh juicy, and then bake until soft and translucent. It isn't really time-consuming and the end results are rather comforting.
Serves 3-4, as a side dish
Skill level: Easy
6 x medium English onions
1 tbsp plain flour
250ml hot light vegetable stock (dissolve 1 tsp Marigold bouillon powder in boiling water)
250ml hot milk
3 x bay leaves
a grating of fresh nutmeg
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.
- Peel the onions carefully. When removing the root end, try not to remove too much as the onions will start to separate.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the onions. Simmer the onions for about 20 minutes (or until tender to the point of a sharp kitchen knife).
- Drain and set aside.
- While the onions are boiling you can make the light white sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan. Gradually add the flour and stir over a low heat until all the flour has been absorbed by the butter. Continue to stir for a couple of minutes until cooked through. (This will ensure that your sauce doesn't taste of uncooked flour!)
- Add the vegetable stock and hot milk. Turn the heat up and whisk until all the lumps of flour have been dissolved.
- Season well. Add the bay leaves, nutmeg and mustard and stir well to combine.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly so that the sauce doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Halve the slippery onions and place, cut-side down, in an oven-proof dish. You will need to be careful as you cut the onions so that they do not collapse completely!
- Stir the parsley through the sauce and pour over the onions.
- Bake for 40 minutes until bubbling and golden.