In the Val d’Orcia people love onions, and sage is also often used in country recipes. Both grow abundantly in every farm garden. Even the ancient writers praised their beneficial qualities: they said that onion was good for fighting off colds and that sage was good for both digestion and oral health.
The onions in this recipe require some minor preparation the night before – or in the morning if you will serve them for dinner.
- Large sage leaves
- Red onions (one per person)
- Casale bio extra virgin olive oil, last year’s vintage is fine
- Cold beer or sparkling water
- Anchovy fillets
- 4 eggs
- bread crumbs
- ground walnuts
- 1 jar of Delizie del Casale sundried tomato spread
- 1 jar of Delizie del Casale Olive black olive spread
- 1 jar of Casale organic acacia honey
- 150 gr of Casale organic sheep milk ricotta
This recipe requires two kinds of batter: each should be made in its own bowl – one large and one small.
For the sage:
- Wash the leaves and dry them on kitchen paper.
- Prepare the batter by mixing vigorously together 50 gr of flour, half a glass of beer or sparkling water, and the eggs.
- Take the anchovy fillets and flatten them with the bottom of a bottle or a meat mallet. Place an anchovy between two sage leaves of equal size and press together.
- Dredge the leaves (with the anchovy between them) in the batter and place them immediately in very hot oil. Fry lightly on both sides.
- Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Serve immediately with some fresh ricotta mixed with olive oil and pepper.
For the onions:
- Clean each of the onions, being careful to remove only the dry skin. Don’t cut off the base.
- Make several vertical cuts through each onion bringing the blade to the bottom but not all the way through it. Let the onions rest overnight in a container of water with the cut part facing down in the water and the base of the onion up. The onions will open like blossoming flowers.
- Prepare the batter: whisk two eggs together with a pinch of salt.
- Dry the onion flowers and rest them on a sheet of tin foil. Dunk them in the egg batter.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground walnuts and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle this preparation over your onions being careful to cover the petals of each onion.
- Fry them in hot oil for about 2 minutes each. They should turn gold but not become soft.
- Place them on a paper towel to drain.
- Serve each onion on an individual platter, resting them at the center of each plate, with the base of the onion at the bottom so that they look like fried dahlias and place around them – like on a palette – a spoon of black olive spread, a spoon of acacia honey, and a spoon of dried tomato spread.