- 14 -16 small yellow onions (1 ½- to 2-inches in diameter)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup whole almonds, with skins
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped finely
- 3/4 cups basil leaves, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the onions in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss until coated. Transfer to a sheet pan and roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until semi-soft.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat and add the almonds. Cook for 1 minute, then immediately remove with a slotted spoon. Peel the skins with a kitchen towel. Place the almonds on a cookie sheet or sheet pan and roast for 7-8 minutes in the oven or until golden brown. Remove and cool completely. Place the almonds in a clean coffee grinder or food processor and grind until fine.
Using a mortar and pestle (you can also use a food processor), mash the garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the lemon zest, parsley, and basil and continue to grind by hand until the mixture is well blended. Add ½ cup of the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and the ground almonds.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a small sauté pan over low heat and add the breadcrumbs, cooking until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Slice the cooked onions in half and place 1-1½ teaspoons of the almond pesto on each piece, or according to taste. Sprinkle each onion with the toasted breadcrumbs. Serve at room temperature.