Onion storage is always a bit of a challenge in our house. Ade grows masses of onions at the allotment, which for the most part I’m very happy about, as I get through them pretty fast, but it is a struggle to find space for them all. We have a few bunches strung up in the kitchen, but most of them are hanging from the ceiling in our garden shed. Unfortunately, our garden shed is as watertight as a colander.
We learned this the hard way a couple of years ago, when we noticed a quarter of our shed-stored onions had rotted away. Then we realised we’d unwittingly hung them directly under the leaks in the roof! But Ade’s wiser now. He knows where the rain gets in and hangs the onions on the opposite side of the shed (And before you mention it, yes he has tried fixing the shed roof but frankly, it’s past the point of no return.)
This year, thankfully, we’ve still got plenty of onions safely in storage to see us through the spring, particularly red onions, which are our favourite. My Red Onion and Mushroom Rolls are a veggie alternative to sausage rolls, and are wholesome, herby and incredibly moreish. They’re easy to prepare, particularly if you whip up the filling a day ahead and refrigerate overnight. They can also be vegan; I made them using soya milk and Jus-Rol puff pastry (which I was amazed to discover is dairy-free – who knew?!) and they were delicious.
Combining flavoursome chestnut mushrooms with sweet red onions grown on our allotment and herbs fresh from the garden, all wrapped in golden puff pastry, these Red Onion and Mushroom Rolls are seasonal finger food at its best, and a welcome addition to a bank holiday buffet if you’re planning on entertaining guests this Easter.
RED ONION & MUSHROOM ROLLS
Makes: 8 medium rolls or 16 mini rolls Prep/Cooking Time: 1 hr + cooling time
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 red onions (about 200g once peeled)
200g chestnut mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
4 sage leaves
1 x 320g sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
salt and pepper
Chop the onions finely. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low/medium heat, and fry the cumin seeds for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped onions. Cook gently for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and glossy.
Meanwhile, finely chop the mushrooms and the garlic. Add to the pan along with the cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and plenty of salt and pepper. Cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Tip the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool.
Chop the sage leaves and add them to a the cooled onion/mushroom mixture along with the thyme leaves and oats. Stir well. Add more seasoning if required.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C (fan) and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Cut the puff pastry sheet lengthways down the middle. Spoon half the mixture along the centre of one length of pastry, carefully moulding it into a sausage-shape.
Brush the milk along the edges then carefully roll the long side of the pastry over the filling. Press the edges together to seal them, before crimping them with a fork.
Repeat the process with the second length of pastry, so you end up with two long rolls.
Cut each length in half, and then half again so that you end up with 8 medium-sized rolls (4 rolls per pastry strip). Alternatively, cut each eighth in half again to make 16 mini rolls.
Place the rolls on the prepared baking tray, brush with milk, and cook them in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden.
They’re best served fresh from the oven, although you can refrigerate and reheat them, or freeze them once cooled.
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