- 10-12 medium red onions
- 2tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
- 100g (3 1/2oz) pine nuts
- 450g (14oz) fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 250g (8oz) butter, melted
- 1tsp Dijon mustard
- 20g (3/4oz) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 10-12 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
- Juice and grated zest 1 unwaxed lemon
- Juice and grated zest 1 orange
- Peel any dry skin from the onions, then place in a large saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 12 minutes to soften. Drain and cool. Cut a 1cm slice off the top, reserving these 'lids' for later. Using a teaspoon, remove the inner core of each onion, keeping the three outer layers intact. Finely chop the inner cores of four onions.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the bacon and chopped onion for 7-10 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Place the eggs, butter, mustard, herbs and lemon and orange zest and juice in a blender and purée to a paste. Add the paste to the breadcrumb mixture and mix well.
- Spoon the filling into the onion cases and replace the lids. These can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, if desired. Brush each onion with a little extra olive oil and place in a roasting tin - if the onions will not stand up, slice a small sliver off the bottom. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the onions are golden and beginning to soften.
Fresh breadcrumbs are easily made by pulsing day-old slices of crustless bread in a food processor until fine. They can also be made whenever you have some leftover bread and frozen until needed.
Any leftover stuffing can be wrapped in foil and baked.