Middle Eastern lamb-stuffed slow-roasted onion cups

Lamb and chickpea stuffed onions.
Lamb and chickpea stuffed onions. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Dietary
Gluten-free

This is for the onion lovers. The slow-roasted sweet onions are the perfect fodder for lamb mince, cranberries and chickpeas. Each onion half needs at least three layers so they are sturdy enough to act like little boats for the filling.

Ingredients

2-3 tbsp olive oil

6 small brown onions, peeled, halved, and centre removed to create 12 shells (reserve about half of the inner sections)

300g lamb mince (or 300g lamb sausages, casings removed and meat chopped)

1½ tsp ground coriander

1½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

½ cup tinned chickpeas, rinsed

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (you could sub in balsamic glaze at a pinch)

1 cup spinach or kale leaves, coarsely torn

To serve (optional)

6 tbsp hummus

4 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves

½ cup soft Persian-style feta

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Douse a roasting dish with the olive oil. Place the onion shells into the pan, cups facing upwards, and give them a good swish around in the oil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. If the onions appear to be taking on too much colour, reduce the heat – you want them to soften and mellow, taking on only the slightest crisping on top.

2. While the onion shells are cooking, finely dice the reserved central onion pearls (enough from three of the onions). Add to a medium non-stick frypan with the lamb mince or sausage meat, and the seasonings and cook until just brown and golden. Remove from heat and stir through cranberries and chickpeas.

3. Remove the onions from the oven and scoop in the mince mixture, filling the onions and then spilling into the dish. Drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and add the kale leaves. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.

4. Remove and scatter over herbs and feta and/or dollop with hummus, if using. Season liberally and serve piping hot.