Baked Lentil and Rice Stuffed Onions
Growing up, my mum always stuffed vegetables with a rice and beef mixture. In Greek, we call a dish like this yemista, which means filled/stuffed. We usually stuff a variety of vegetables, such as peppers, zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes and onions. Well, onions were always my favourite and now I love to make a big pan of them. I have given one of my favourite childhood recipes a vegetarian/vegan twist by substituting lentils for beef to help you create with your pantry items. Italian style rice is a short grain rice not arborio which is for risotto. They make for a delicious meal served with a side salad or make a perfect side dish for meat or fish.
Hope you enjoy as much as my family and I do!
1 1/4 cup dried green lentils (or 3 1/2 cup canned, rinsed and drained)
2 large onions
1/2 cup Italian style or long grain rice, uncooked
1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp dried mint or (1 tbsp dried oregano or dried basil) whatever you have
1 cup tomato puree
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of one large lemon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
Place dried lentils in a large bowl and cover with hot water, let soak for 30 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients, you can avoid this step if you are using canned lentils.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Peel onions and cut off bottom and tops. With a knife make a slice along the side right through to the centre. Carefully peel each, layer ensuring you keep the onion layers intact, about 5 layers from each onion..
Finely chop the leftover onion from the centre and set aside.
Drain lentils and place back in bowl. Add chopped onions, rice, parsley, dried herb you are using, tomato puree 2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 of lemon juice, salt and pepper, mix well. Stuff onions with lentil mixture ensuring you seal the cut side by overlaying the the open sides of onion. Place them standing up in a baking dish large enough for them to fit in snug, so the onions stay closed. I used an 9' inch round dish with lid. Drizzle onions with remaining 2 tbsp of oil, remaining lemon juice. Pour in the vegetable stock on the sides. Cover and cook for 40-45 mins. Remove lid and broil until slightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Place lid back on, turn off oven and let stand covered in oven for 15-20 minutes or until they have absorbed their liquid.
SERVINGS 4-6 | PREP & COOK TIME 1.5 hour