Roasted Onions with Almond Pesto

Adapted by StarChefs.com
November 2008
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted Onions
12 to 16 small brown onions, sliced about 1¾-inch diameter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper
Almond Pesto
¼ cup whole almonds, with skins
1 large garlic clove
Pinch of salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
To Assemble and Serve
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs

METHOD:

For the Roasted Onions:
Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Place the onions in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss until coated. Place on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes or until semi-soft.

For the Almond Pesto:
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add almonds. Cook for 1 minute then immediately remove with a slotted spoon. Peel the skins with a kitchen towel. Place the almonds on a sheet pan and roast at 350˚F for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and cool completely. Place the almonds in a food processor and grind until fine. Mash the garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle*. Add the lemon zest, parsley, and basil and continue to mash until mixture is well blended. Add olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and ground almonds.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat olive oil in a small sauté pan and add the bread crumbs, cooking over low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Slice the cooked onions in half. Place 2 onions on a serving plate and top with 1 to 1½ teaspoon of almond pesto, according to taste. Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs over onions for garnish. Serve at room temperature.