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
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
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.