Last year for a dinner party, I made Balsamic Cipolline Onions as a side dish to the filet of beef I was serving. I had first tasted these as part of a meal on my trip to Italy a few years back. I found a recipe on the Food TV site by Mario Batali.
The balsamic sauce thickens giving the onions a sweet and sour taste that is bursting with flavor. These are great as a side to beef or as part of an antipasto platter.
Balsamic Cipolline Onions
adapted from Mario Batali
2 pounds cipolline or small (1 1/2-inch) onions
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sweet butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Peel the onions, leaving and washing any root strands you may find.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan over a medium high flame, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the butter and cook until the foam subsides. Add the onions and saute until light golden brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, rosemary, and water and bring to a boil.
Cook the onions uncovered, until just “al dente”, about 10 minutes. If the liquid dissipates too quickly, add more water, 1/4-cup at a time, realizing that it is essential not to overcook the onions. The sauce should just adhere to the onions. Remove from the saute pan to an earthenware dish and hold in a warm place, or allow to cool if you are serving them later or as an antipasto.