Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This Little Piggy – The Cipolline Onion


Sometimes as tiny as a quarter dollar coin, and as mauve-fleshed as its relative, the shallot, the squat and plucky cipolline onion is a hard-to-find but piquant little addition to a sandwich or salad. Also known as cipollini, its raw flavor is sweet and friendly for an allium family member, but really comes alive with small and simple embellishments likely already at hand in your cupboards. Even if you hated onions as a kid (and may STILL hate them now), you might enjoy this quick and sticky alchemy, tangy yet tame, as fun to poke with a toothpick and pop in your mouth as they are elegant to bejewel a crusted roast.



Stuffed Cipolline Onions - Adapted from a Magic Valley Growers Recipe
Ingredients

½ pound cipolline onions, fully intact. Do not peel or cut the root end off.
Handful of raisins, chopped nutmeats, or cooked ground meat (I used raisins)
1/3 cup balsamic, sherry or red wine vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar (good to use up any lumps; they quickly dissolve in the vinegar)
1 tablespoon dried rosemary or other savory herb
Salt and Pepper

Method

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Boil cipolline in a pot of water for 10 minutes. Transfer to cold water to stop cooking. Carefully peel and cut off root end, squeezing bulb or using tip of knife to remove core. Sit them upright in an oven proof dish and gently push filling into middle of each. Mix vinegar and sugar together in a bowl. Pour over onions. Sprinkle herbs and a crank of salt and pepper, then cover dish with foil. Place on center rack of oven and roast for 25 minutes. Turn off heat, remove foil and keep in oven an additional 15-20 minutes, until sauce thickens. Remove from oven. Serve either warm or cold. As they cool, the sauce will become even more syrupy.

Serves 4 as a condiment or snack. –

This post is being submitted to Glenna of A Fridge Full of Food... and Nothing to Eat, host of Kalyn’s Kitchen Weekend Herb Blogging #80.

21 comments:

Lydia said...

Beautiful photographs -- makes the onions look so sweet!

Cynthia said...

As a child I never liked onions but now I can't get enough onions and I love stuffed, baked onions. I've seen the ones you used here in the US but never in these parts. We get Spanish, white and red onions.

Susan said...

Thanks, Lydia. I can't tell you how many shots I took. The shine reflecting off these little dumplings was pretty blinding even without a flash.

Cynthia, I hated onions as a kid, too, but now I even like them raw, especially the red ones. But don't quote me, the large Spanish makes a wonderfully mellow French onion soup. I guess I like them all!

Doug said...

too often people shy away from onions. it looks fantastic. almost like a treasure!

Susan said...

It's true, Doug, we often shy away, but if we can just get past that childhood trauma... :) Good to hear from you.

bee said...

i've never seen onions ooze so much sex appeal.

Susan said...

Like Water for Onions, Bee. ;]

Christina said...

I love the look of that caramel-ly vinegar against the white plate. Nice shot.

Susan said...

Thanks, Christina. I'm enjoying the photography more and more.

Mandira said...

Stuffed onions! Looks delicious, tender and ready to eat :) Beautiful presentation too, Susan.

Susan said...

They were sticky, sweet and, yes, very tender. Thanks for your kind words, Mandira.

Glenna said...

Onions are my favorite favorite favorite thing roasted and these look to die for!

Susan said...

I do, too, Glenna. Even the biggest, most ornery onion turns into a sweet, old softy after some oven time.

Lucy said...

So tiny and crisp to start with; so rich and sticky at the end. The rosemary needles are the visual key to their diminutive stature - how utterly divine Susan. Especially the raisin stuffing.

Susan said...

What a keen eye you have, Lucy. I'd been working with them so closely that it was a given they were so small. You've put them in an even finer, more pleasurable perspective.

Kalyn said...

What a great WHB entry! I don't think anyone has ever featured these in a recipe (at least not that I remember!) I've seen these little onions a few times, but haven't tried them. They sound heavenly the way you've prepared them.

Helene said...

What a yummy dish and great photo!! Can imagine it took time to create this, but it´s worth it!
Thanks for the idea, will serve it on our next grill party!!

Susan said...

Kalyn: This is all your fault! Since participating in WHB, I'm much more aware of veggies, particularly the lesser knowns.

Helene: Thank you. Once the delicate peeling operation was complete, the recipe went quickly.

astrid said...

I certainly have to try this. I like onions and I am longing to know how these will taste.
Thanks for sharing!

Susan said...

Hi, Astrid - I hope you will enjoy them. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Anonymous said...

I just purchased some of these onions, and CAN'T WAIT to cook them up in so many ways. I think onions are one of Nature's greatest gifts to our palate, and I know that I will enjoy such a delectable variety. Thank you!