Choose onions that are hard, with no obvious soft spots, and avoid any that are showing signs of sprouting. Although raw onions are known for their pungent smell, when cooked they have a mild, sweet flavour which contrasts well with the cheesy stuffing.
4 large onions, each weighing 225 - 275 g (8 - 10 oz)
150 g (5 oz) long-grain brown rice
salt and pepper
50 g (2 oz) hazelnuts
50 g (2 oz) salted peanuts
225 g (8 oz) tomatoes, roughly chopped
100 g (4 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) dried basil
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) dried oregano
5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
1. Boil the onions in their skins for 45 -50 minutes, until very tender. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Meanwhile, cook the rice in plenty of boiling salted water for about 30 minutes, until tender. Drain well.
3. Put the hazelnuts and peanuts on a sheet of foil and cook under a grill until brown, turning frequently. Leave the skins on the hazelnuts and finely chop with the peanuts.
4. Mix the tomatoes with the rice, cheese, nuts, herbs and turmeric and season to taste.
5. Slice off the tip and root of each onion, but leave on the coloured outer skin. Down one side of each onion cut through to the centre from tip to root. Ease the onions open.
6. Divide the stuffing between each onion, pressing it well into the centre.
7. Place in a roasting tin, cover and bake at 200°C (400°F) mark 6 for about 40 minutes. Serve hot.