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Roast Red Onions And Basil

Asked by Deirdream. Answered on 16th September 2020

Full question

I love the look of Nigella's Roast Red Onions With Basil recipe. And I know she said fennel seeds are an authentic Italian flavour. But I don't like anything that has a aniseed flavour. Would cumin seeds work? Or is there a better alternative?

Image of Nigella's Roast Red Onions with Basil
Photo by Petrina Tinslay
Roast Red Onions With Basil
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Roast Red Onions With Basil (from NIGELLISSIMA) is a very versatile and easy to make vegetable dish. The onions are sprinkled with salt and fennel before being roasted. Fennel is a typically Italian flavour, but it also combines well with the slightly anise notes in the basil. The fennel seed flavour mellows in the heat of the oven so is not particularly pronunced.

However if you don't like fennel then we would suggest just omitting it from the recipe. The onions will still be delicious. Caraway could be an alternative but it also has an anise flavour. Cumin seeds have quite a strong flavour and we are not sure that it would go quite as well with the balsamic and basil. However if you did want to use cumin then you may prefer to dress the cooked onions with a small spritz of lemon juice and some fresh coriander (cilantro) instead.

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