Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cippolini onions agrodolce

Cippolini onions are round and flat Italian onions with thin papery skins, which are available in fall. They are about one to two inches in diameter and are great roasted or braised. I prefer to roast them since they get a nice caramelized exterior and a sweet and soft interior.

The onions are roasted dressed in a sweet and sour combination of balsamic vinegar and brown sugar which gives them the name agrodolce (sweet and sour in Italian). They taste great with cheese or as a side with meats. The sweet and sour flavor pairs well with rich foods.

A typical recipe for agrodolce onions calls for a lot more oil and a lot more vinegar, but I like these proportions as they create a nice crust without becoming too sour and greasy.

Cippolini onions agrodolce

15 cippolini onions about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter (best to use the same size onions, so that they cook evenly)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
10 sprigs thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Soak the onions in hot water for 5 minutes. This step helps to loosen their papery skins and makes it easier to peel. Drain the water and peel the onions and set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper. Toss the onions with the dressing and lay them out on a baking sheet with the thyme sprigs.
  4. Roast for 15 minutes and flip them to caramelize the other side. Once again flip them after another 15 minutes. Cook them for a further 10 to 15 minutes till they are soft when pierced with a paring knife.
  5. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 3.

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