Sun-dried tomatoes are a treat we bring to Spain in our suitcase. They add oomph to so many dishes, especially in winter. It’s worth checking in the bag on Easyjet to bring them back, somehow it feels like smuggling. Other foodie things we bring include Sainsbury’s pitted kalamata olives [can’t bear the bitter black Spanish olives, sorry] and Superjam which is so much more intense than Spanish mermelada. This recipe, by Sophie Grigson, is a recent discovery and favourite. Serves 4-6 but don’t worry too much about quantities – we wolfed down this amount with bread between the two of us, though the onions were more medium-small than medium-large!
4 medium-large onions, unpeeled
6 pieces sun-dried tomato, cut into strips
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary, snapped in two
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil Pre-heat the oven to 150°C. Place the onions in a pan and cover with water. Bring up to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes. Drain, peel and quarter. Arrange the quarters in a single layer in a lightly-oiled gratin dish and mix in the strips of sun-dried tomatoes. Tuck the rosemary amongst the onions, then sprinkle over the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the vinegar and oil.Cover loosely with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil, baste the onions with the juices. Continue cooking, uncovered, for a further 20 minutes. Serve hot, warm or cold. We eat this cold in summer with bread to soak up the juices, alongside slices of cheese, olives and caperberries. In winter, we will try it hot with pan-fried fish such as salmon or dorada.
5 to remember
secado al sol – sun-dried
la maleta – the suitcase
contrabandeando/a – smuggling
intenso/a – intense
un ramito – a sprig
‘Eat Your Greens’ by Sophie Grigson