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Sides, Vegetarian

Roasted onions with almond pesto

Roasted onions with almond pesto
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: What side dishes do you recommend for special-occasion dinners? Alma Kiselioviene Woodland Hills Dear Alma: This handsome onion dish is from Suzanne Tracht at Jar. It makes a memorable accompaniment to roasts of all kinds and isn't hard ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes | Serves 6 to 8
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds, blanched
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped lemon rind
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 3/4 cup basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 12 to 16 small brown onions (2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Step 1Place the almonds on a nonstick baking sheet and roast 12 minutes, until golden. Cool.

Step 2Coarsely grind the almonds in a food processor. Add the garlic, lemon rind, parsley, basil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Process until the herbs are chopped fine and the mixture is well blended. Add one-half cup olive oil and the Parmesan. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Step 3In a large bowl, toss the onions with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Roast in a 350-degree oven, turning after about 15 minutes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes total, until semi-soft.

Step 4Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saute pan and add the bread crumbs. Cook over low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Step 5When the onions are done, remove them from the oven and slice them in half (do not peel). Place on a serving platter and spoon 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of pesto onto each half. Sprinkle with the toasted bread crumbs. Serve at room temperature.

Note: The pesto may be made up to one day ahead. Place in a covered container, lightly coat with olive oil and refrigerate. To serve, bring pesto to room temperature and stir.

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