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Baked Stuffed Red Onions And The Meaning Of the Italian q.b.

Stuffed baked onions, vegetarian recipe

Baked red onions is a vegetarian recipe where you need stuff them q.b. (to taste).

Do you know the meaning of the Italian expression q.b. (or qb)?
The expression is an abbreviation for quanto basta (quantum satis) and is used in both medical and cooking recipes. In both cases it indicates a quantity.

Baked Stuffed Red Onions

q.b. in the kitchen.

The quantity indicated by q.b. means how much is necessary and refers to our ability to calculate ‘by eye’ whether the salt is right, the sauce sufficient to wrap the pasta, the roast cooked to perfection.

The generic reference to q.b. leaves a free hand to our inherent sense of measure and, of course, personal taste.

All is well for people naturally provided with this ability. They know how to measure how much is enough ‘by eye’. But there are also those who have a problem with the expression a pinch or just enough.

However, it is really important to try to understand the concept of quantity, in cooking as in life. In fact, although it is a dose, more than a specific weight, it has to do with the “common sense”. Don’t let yourself be distracted by the scale, use your head. Add a little at a time and taste until the gestures come naturally and q.b. is no longer a mystery to you.

q.b. in our life.

Quanto basta is a concept that also applies to the things of life.
And, like the ingredient in a recipe, again it has to do with our ability to act according to common sense and discernment. Making mistakes and trying things out is, as always, the only exercise, in and out of the kitchen!

In the kitchen, knowing when the quantity of an ingredient is enough can make the difference between a successful dish and a forgettable one.

So in life, understanding when it is better to hold back a word or a gesture can improve the quality of our lives and make us better people.

The others will appreciate it and, even if they don’t, it will be good for us to know that we have deployed the common sense implicit in the q.b.
Whenever I stop myself from always saying my opinion (which I recogniZe as one of my worst faults), I feel good. Just like when the dish I bring to the table is balanced in its flavors.

Just as we can exercise “our q.b.” in the kitchen, the same can be done for things in life.
We must never give up offering what we do best: whether it be recipes or behaviors.

Baked stuffed red onions

Baked stuffed red onions.

In this recipe q.b. referring to the filling means that you will have to stuff the onions a bit by eye.

Each onion is made in its own way and although I indicate how many onions I have used, it is likely that after cooking them once in the oven to soften them, you will get a different amount of flesh than I did.

This depends mainly on two factors: the water contained in the onions and how much flesh you scoop out of each onion to use as a stuffing.

My tips for exercising your q.b. in the recipe.

I think I’ve chosen an easy recipe to start the training with.

After scooping out the central part of the cooked onions with a spoon, leave two to three of the outermost rings, weigh out the pulp and adjust by eye the ingredients to be added (bread, capers, grated parmigiano) using the recipe as a reference.

If you have too little stuffing, add more breadcrumbs before finishing. On the contrary, if it is too much, make croquettes to bake in the oven and serve with the stuffed onions.

If you prefer, you can replace the capers with olives (or put in olives as well).
But do not overdo the quantities. The penetrating flavor of the capers should enhance the sweetness of the red onion, not cover it.

Regarding onions: I used a local and typical variety from the Bologna area, the Rossa of Medicina, which is sweet and meaty. You too can choose a sweet red onion.

Before leaving you to the recipe, I would like to add that baked onions are good hot but also at room temperature. In short, it’s a main course that you can serve in any season and that I like to accompany with a good side dish. Calculate 3-4 half onions per person, depending on the size!

If you want, use the recipe as a side dish (just make less).

Buona cucina, Monica

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Baked Stuffed Red Onions Recipe

Baked Stuffed Red Onions Recipe

serves 4

7 red onions
about 100g toast bread
capers, 15g
grated parmigiano reggiano, 50g
egg yolks, 2
olive oil, nutmeg, salt and pepper q.b. (to taste)

chopped dried oregano and grated rind of half an organic lemon, to taste


Cut the onions in half.

Line a baking tray with baking paper, arrange the onions and season with chopped fresh herbs (fresh or dried), if desired. For this recipe I have used dried oregano but it is not necessary.

Bake in a preheated oven, at 170°C (static), for about one hour to one hour and thirty minutes. The onions should be soft but not undone.

Crush the bread in the mixer with nutmeg and a pinch of black pepper. Set aside.

After rinsing under running water, chop the capers with a knife and set aside.

Now, empty and stuff.

Let the onions cool out of the oven, then with the help of a spoon, scoop out the central part (from 7 onions I obtained about 270g of pulp). If the central part of the pulp is stuck and pulling it risks breaking the onion, which is to be the shell for the filling, use kitchen scissors to cut the filament. From the removed part, remove the central core, especially if it is green.

Put the pulp in a bowl and cream it with an immersion blender.
If the blended pulp is still too watery, you have two solutions: cook it in a pan for about ten minutes and drain off the excess liquid.

Add all the ingredients to the onion pulp reduced to a cream: chopped bread, chopped capers, Parmesan cheese, a little olive oil, the egg yolks, and salt to taste.
If the filling seems too soft, add another slice of chopped bread. if it is too thick, a dash of water or milk.

Using a spoon, fill the onions into a little dome and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (static) for about 15-20 minutes.

If you like, use a whole caper as a garnish (to be placed before baking).

Serve the onions warm or room temperature with a side.

Italian Recipes

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