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Onion Pandade

Prep time
1 1⁄2 hours


"Inspired by Judy Rodgers in the wonderful Zuni Cafe cookbook. It’s one of those things that’s equally good hot from the oven, cooled to room temperature, or even reheated the next day. You won’t have any problems getting rid of any leftovers. This is a brilliant way to use up stale bread, but fresh can be used as well. Just make sure it’s a hearty rustic loaf, preferably sourdough – not something white and insipid. I used a vintage cheddar as my cheese but anything that makes good cheese on toast would work. This makes a wonderful vegetarian main course with a green salad on the side... it would also be a warming accompaniment to a roast chicken or even some roast beef."


4 onion (large)
1⁄2 bnthyme (leaves picked)
1⁄2 loaf rustic bread (medium- approxmimately 1/2 lb, torn into chunks)
5 ozcheese (grated or crumbled)
3 1⁄2 cveggie stock (or chicken stock)


1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F). 2. Cut onion in half lengthwise. Peel, then slice into half moons about 5mm (1/4in) thick. 3. Heat 4 – 5 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan. Cook onion stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown. No need to caramelize. Stir in the thyme. 4. In a medium heatproof dish layer about a third of the onions. Sprinkle over some of the bread and cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used. You want to be able to see a little of each on the top. 5. Bring stock to a simmer. Pour over the onion dish. Season. 6. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 20 – 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crunchy and the stock has been absorbed by the bread.