Pickling onions peeled (be prepared for some tears) and cooked with vinegar, sugar, pine nuts, butter and corinth raisins. Another Venetian dish clearly demonstrating that city’s link with the Middle East. This can be served as an antipasto or as a contorno.
Trim the top and bottom of the onions minimally, otherwise they will break up during cooking.
Take a pan wide enough to hold the onions in a single layer and melt the butter in this over a medium flame. As soon as this starts to brown, add the sugar and half the vinegar. Add the onions and stir to coat. Cook over a low flame uncovered, but not stirring, for about 20 minutes. The onions will render a little liquid which will combine with the butter, vinegar and sugar. This liquid should be reduced by half during this process. Turn the onions carefully once during this time. Now add the raisins, pine nuts and the remaining vinegar. Mix carefully and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until caramel-brown.
This dish is best served warm. If you try to serve it hot, the sugar content may scald your guests’ palates.
© 1996 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.