Oh, my. cipollini onions. One of those foods that once you try you wonder, to yourself, “why haven’t I been eating them all of my life?”
Like every day, all of my life!
Quickly sautéed, and then finished in the oven, cipollini onions take on a heavenly combination of charred, crispy exterior and sweet, creamy interior. Absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Adding balsamic vinegar for the last 10 minutes of cooking caramelizes the pan drippings into a divine syrup that’s fantastic mopped up with a good wedge of fresh baguette. The herbs add a bright finish to the bite.
Honestly, these onions are so sweet, you could simply sauté them and then roast without the additional balsamic and herbs. How you prepare cipollini onions will be decided on how you will be serving them. Cooks choice! Some suggestions are as a part of an antipasto platter, as a topping for veggie burgers and sandwiches, in grilled cheese (vegan, of course!) or as a side dish for your favorite entrees. For me, they hardly make it out of the pan and past my mouth! So good!
Country Fresh Herbs has cipollini onions in premade bags most days that the vendor is at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market. I bought two bags on Cathy’s swooning recommendation. When I got home, I transferred the onions to a basket and stored it in the back of my pantry, with other onions and shallots, until I was ready to use. Of note, all onions, with the exception of leeks and scallions, should be stored in a cool dark place (not the fridge) with plenty of ventilation, so remove from the plastic bag.
If you love caramelized onions you must try this delectable version.
Roasted Cipollini Onions with Balsamic and Herbs
1-¼ lbs cipollini onions
2 ½ T plant based butter
1 T extra virgin olive oil
About a ½ tsp salt or to taste
2 T good aged balsamic, sweet and syrupy is best
1/2 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp fresh chopped sage
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle. Chop the herbs and set aside. Peel the thin outer membrane and trim the onions at each end, keeping them whole. On your cook top, heat a cast iron or other oven safe pan (I used a 12’ Staub sauté pan) over medium high heat. Add the butter and oil and heat until butter melts and oil shimmers. Add the onions and quickly cook for 3 minutes, turning down the heat if they brown too quickly. Add salt and stir it all up. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes, stirring the onions occasionally so all browns evenly. Turn down the temperature to 350 and add the balsamic and herbs, stirring all up to coat the onions evenly. Cook another 10 minutes until the pan drippings are caramelized and the onions are starting to char on the outside. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately or at room temperature. Store all leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Please note that all stoves and ovens are different so you will have to be diligent in checking on all cooking.
About Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.
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