Onion has always been a very common food, both in Italy and around the world. Originally from Central Asia, they arrived in the Mediterranean more than 3,500 years ago, to be spread first by the Greeks and then by the Romans. Who, as is known, built their empire with the roads and the legions… but above all with the spelled polenta, bread, garlic and onions with which the legionaries who traveled the roads were fed. That is why it is not surprising that there are countless traditional recipes with onions, baked, fried, boiled, grilled, etc.
today again The onion is the most cultivated vegetable in Italy.both for the organoleptic qualities (they give aroma and flavor to half of Italian dishes), and for the high content of salts, vitamins and antibiotic principles.
The roasted onions with walnut and lemon sauce that we propose are typical of Lombardy, where the recipe says “white onions“. The latter is a term that has always been used generically to refer to onions considered most suitable for cooking. In fact, the typical Lombardy varieties are not the white ones, but the golden ones (onions from Sermide and Voghera) or the red ones (from Breme).
In fact In Italy there are about 40 specific local varieties of onions.. And they are all suitable for cooking in the oven. Obviously giving different taste results: more or less accentuated, of course, but always excellent.
The possibility of using any variety of onion is all the more true the stronger the flavor of the seasoning. As is the case with our walnut and lemon sauce, which undoubtedly has a strong and characteristic flavor, although much less than many other sauces based on mustards, mustards or anchovies.
We, for example, We wanted to try the Borretana onions. that you see in the photo, generally considered only for sweet and sour sauces or pickles. However, although small, these roasted onions in walnut sauce did not disappoint us. In fact, we’d like to recommend them alongside the more traditional round onions, which weigh between 70 and 90g each.
- 8 medium white onions (about 600 g)
- 120 g shelled walnuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 large, juicy lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Heat the oven to 180° and let the onions cook in it for 30-40 minutes with all the outer skin (tunic)
- In a mortar we crush the walnuts together with the garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. When the nuts and garlic are reduced to a paste, add the juice of the whole lemon (at least 5 tablespoons) and mix carefully, so that all the salt has a chance to dissolve.
- Add a tablespoon of chopped parsley and 5 tablespoons of oil to the pesto. Mix and let it flavor for approximately half an hour.
- Remove the skin (outer skin) from the onions, cut them into large wedges and sprinkle them with the walnut sauce. Let the flavors settle for a few minutes and serve the roasted onions in walnut sauce warm.