July 1, 2009

My favorite side dish!

When you are planning your BBQ for the 4th of July or the next summer party, try making these sweet and sour onions as a side dish and stand back and receive the compliments!

Tiny pearl onions are cooked in an infusion of water with sugar and vinegar. I like to add a little chili pepper (whole- so I can take it out) to give it a little kick.

The end result is eating onions that taste like a BBQ sauce!

I prefer to let them slow cook the day before, so the flavors have time to blend.
If you can't find cipolline, boiling onions, use small shallots.

To make them a little fancier, you can add some raisins and toasted pinenuts at the end of the cooking.

Cipolline Agro Dolce

Sweet and Sour Onions

1 1/2 lbs peeled boiling onions
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs tomato paste
water and/or white wine
1 dry red chili pepper (optional)

Place onions in a single layer in a large flat saute pan.
They should be covered with the white wine, diluted with water.
Add olive oil, salt, sugar, dry red chili pepper, vinegar and tomato paste.
Stir to mix.

Cover and boil for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

Boil until the water is gone and the onions begin to glaze.
Stir to prevent burning or sticking.
Remove red chili before serving.
Taste to balance the sweet and sour flavors.

These are best the next day.
Try balsamic vinegar and honey for a really special version.
For simple onions, just cook in white wine, olive oil, salt and a bay leaf.


  1. Oooh - great idea! Love the balsamic vinegar/pine nuts variation! I'll have to try these.

  2. If I leave it up to you, I will never leave my kitchen this summer...these onions sound amazing and as soon as my guy at the market has some available (soon I should think), then...I can hardly wait!