Onion porridge with roasted onions and thyme
- February 2020
- Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a starter
- Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 35 min
Somewhere between a creamy risotto and a bread sauce, Gill Meller’s onion porridge with thyme makes a decadent vegetarian starter and goes well with sweet roast onions.
- 27.9g (13.9g saturated)
- 31.7g (12.5g sugars)
- 60g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves
- 4-6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 large firm onions, halved through the root
- 425ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 100g porridge oats
- 50g hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan (vegetarian if need be) grated, plus extra to serve
- 2-3 tbsp double cream
- Crusty bread and green salad to serve
- Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas 5. Put a heavy-based ovenproof frying pan or hob-safe shallow roasting dish (one with a lid) over a medium-high heat. Add half the butter and 1 tbsp of the olive oil. When it’s bubbling, scatter in the herbs and season.
- Put the onions cut-side down into the pan/dish and let them sizzle for 4-5 minutes, but don’t let the butter burn. Tuck a small sheet of compostable baking paper down around the onions, cover with the lid, then bake in the oven for
20 minutes. Remove the lid, then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the onions are exceptionally soft and tender and caramelised on the underside. Lift them out onto a plate to rest.
- Remove any darker bits of herb from the pan/dish, then put on a medium heat. Add 400ml stock and bring up to a simmer, scraping up the bits from the base of the pan.
- Stir in the porridge oats, turn down the heat to a low simmer and keep stirring for 5-6 minutes. If the porridge is looking too thick, add a dash more stock (it should have the consistency of bread sauce). Stir in the remaining butter and grated cheese, then add the cream and a grinding of black pepper to taste.
- Spoon the porridge into a warmed serving dish and arrange the onions on top. Drizzle with a little more oil and serve with more cheese, some crusty bread and a green salad.
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