Onions: you either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. I love ‘em, and for onion lovers, the cipolla di Giarratana is as good as it gets. They originally come from the town of Giarratana up in the hills of south-east Sicily, but are sold in markets all over the island. Whether they arrive further afield I couldn’t say. I sincerely hope so, because I hate to think of you going without. Anyway, these pink-violet beauties are large and flattened, like some kind of vegetable flying saucer, and are mild even raw (I tried them in a coleslaw last night with some pulled pork. Divine). Cooked, they become sumptuously sweet, and are so good that it’s a shame to relegate them to a supporting role. These are onions that deserve to be served as a dish in their own right, rather than simply as an ingredient of something else. And so that’s what I did, baking them with a few simple flavourings to show them off to their best.
Today’s recipe basically consists of a few simple suggestions rather than a long list of instructions, and the suggestions are these: get yourself some Giarratana onions, peel them and slice them in half crossways. Sprinkle over salt, pepper, oregano, breadcrumbs, and parmesan, Drizzle over some olive oil (be generous), and bake at 180°C until nicely browned (about 45 minutes). I am sure this would work (although never quite as well) with other mild onions. They make a perfect accompaniment to cheese or sausages, but can also be enjoyed on their own with some crusty bread.