• Yield: Serves 4

  • Time: 20 minutes prep, 25 minutes cooking, 45 minutes total

I've found it. The best onion recipe—it's smashing, pukka, the absolute dog's kahunas! I love it served with cod, but it's also great with roast chicken. You've got to try it.


  • 4 tennis-ball-sized white onions, peeled

  • Olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

  • 4 twigs of fresh rosemary, lower leaves picked and chopped

  • 8 tablespoons heavy cream

  • A couple handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 slices of pancetta or bacon


1. Boil the onions in plenty of water for 15 minutes until slightly tender. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. Then, with a sharp knife, remove the top inch of each onion, finely chop and place to one side. If need be, slightly trim the stalk end of the onions so that they will sit flat on a roasting tray. Cut about a heaping tablespoon out from the inside of each onion, keeping the outside intact. Finely chop and add to the rest of the chopped onion.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat a frying pan and add a little olive oil, your garlic, the chopped onions, and just a little chopped rosemary. Fry for a couple of minutes until softened, then turn the heat down, add the cream and remove from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan and season.

3. I like to wrap a nice slice of pancetta around the middle of each onion and just spike it in place with a sharpened twig of rosemary or wooden toothpick. The rosemary and pancetta will make the onion taste lovely as it cooks. Place the onions on a roasting tray and spoon some of the chopped onion mixture inside each one. Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 minutes until soft and tender, depending on the size of the onions. It's cool to experiment with different cheeses, so give it a bash.

Adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion, 2002). Copyright 2002 by Jamie Oliver.