This month we continue our look at vegetables and recipes to make the most of them. Of course a lot of recipes start off with chopping an onion and browning it before adding the meat, but I wanted something which featured onions.

I recently went to a wedding in Spain and the canapés that came out while the photos were being taken were very tasty. In particular, there was one which was a filo pastry wrapped parcel and inside was caramelised onion; absolutely delicious and I will try to find the recipe and letting you have it soon. Below are a few recipes with onions and my favourite is the omelette or tortilla as it’s called here which is very easy to do.

Buen Apetito

Sweet Potato and Onion Bake

2lbs medium size sweet potatoes
½ tsp salt
1.4lbs onions
½ tsp white pepper
¾ cup milk
1 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
2oz flour
1oz butter

Part-boil sweet potatoes, peel and slice thinly. Also slice onions. Grease a baking dish with butter. Put the potatoes and onions in it in alternate layers. Sprinkle between layers with a mixture of flour, salt and white pepper. Dot with butter and grated cheese and almost cover with milk. Bake in moderate oven.

Lentil and Rice Crispy Onion

1 cup rice
1 cup dried lentils
½ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin (or more to taste; I prefer more)
2 tsps salt
Black pepper

Soak lentils in water for 3 hours; drain. Soak rice in water for ½ hour; drain. Sauté onions in a large skillet for about 15 minutes, or until very brown and crisp. Remove onions to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Turn heat to medium-high and add lentils and rice to skillet; sauté quickly in the browned-onion-flavoured oil, adding cumin, salt and pepper. Add 3 cups of water and bring to the boil. Cover very tightly and then cook on very low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes. To serve, fluff up rice and lentils and top with the crispy browned onions.

Potato and Onion Omelette

5 eggs, beaten
1 lg potato
1 small-to-medium onion
4 tbsps of oil

Peel the potato and cut into pieces (approx 2 cm x 2 cm x .5 cm or smaller). In a frying pan, fry the chopped onion and then the potato in all the olive oil on a very low heat. Add the beaten egg and salt and pepper to taste. Cook very slowly on a low heat, flip over by gently transferring to a plate and then sliding omelette back into the frying pan to cook the other side. Serve hot or cold.

Red Onion and Cheese Quiche Pastry

1¼ cups of wholemeal flour
Pinch of salt
4 oz butter
Cold water to mix
4 eggs
275ml milk
1 Red onion
30ml tomato puree
30ml Worcestershire sauce
30ml chopped parsley
30ml chopped chives
125g grated red cheese

Make pastry by mixing ingredients and chill. Peel and chop onion and fry in oil until golden brown. Beat eggs with the milk, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Mix in the cheese and fried onions. Roll out pastry and line quiche dish. Pour in the egg mixture and bake for 40 minutes on 200º C

Stuffed Artichokes

6 medium Artichokes
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
2 medium onions
350g streaky bacon
75g butter
700g ripe tomatoes
Rind and juice of two oranges
90ml parsley
2 eggs
Melted butter

Strip away discoloured leaves and cut base so the artichoke stands upright. Using scissors snip off the leave tips and then soak in cold water and 15ml of lemon juice for 30 minutes. Drain and place in large saucepan of boiling salted water with the remaining lemon juice. Cover and boil gently for 30-45 minutes. (Artichokes will float, so turn them during cooking.) Fry onions and bacon in the butter. Add tomatoes (skinned and chopped) and cook. Add breadcrumbs, orange rind and juice, parsley, eggs and seasoning and beating well.

Test artichokes by pulling on an outer leaf. If it comes out easily it is cooked. Drain and hold under cold water tap for a few minutes to set the green colour. Scrape out centre slightly and fill with stuffing. Bake in oven for 25 minutes on 190º C or gas mark 5.