These slightly Southwestern-spiced onions are a delicious light entrée best enjoyed with a green salad on the side. For a vegetarian option, substitute vegetarian sausage or chopped mushrooms for the chorizo. Serves 8 as a light entrée or side dish.
8 medium (tennis-ball-sized) sweet (like Vidalia) or red onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh chorizo, removed from casing
¼ cup finely chopped carrot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup crumbled cornbread (substitute panko breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup (2 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup (1 ounce) crumbled cotija or ricotta salata cheese
Preheat oven to 400℉. Cut off the top and bottom of each onion. Remove outer peel. Using a spoon or melon baller, carefully remove about ⅔ of the inside of each onion, leaving about ½ inch of the bottom intact. Reserve the scooped-out onion and set aside. Sprinkle the onion cups with salt. Transfer to a baking dish large enough to snugly hold the onions. Cover pan with a square of parchment and then a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake onions until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and uncover pan.
While the onions are cooking, prepare the stuffing: Finely chop the reserved onion centers. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot but not shimmering, add the chopped onion, chorizo, carrot, and garlic to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and the chorizo is cooked through. Drain any excess fat or liquid from the sausage. Stir in cornbread, herbs, and cheddar cheese. Check the seasoning and add salt to taste.
Fill baked onions with stuffing, then top with the cotija cheese. Bake until cheese is starting to brown, about 20 minutes more.