Glazed Cipolline

If you like the taste of smoky chipotle chiles, you’ll love these bitesized citrus-and-chile-scented onions. I use them as often as I use my homemade pickles, as an accompaniment to cheese plates, tucked into sandwiches, or as part of a mixed antipasto.

Ingredients

  • 30 cipolline onions, about 1–1½ inches (2.5–4 cm) in diameter, or pearl onions
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) fresh orange juice
  • ½ canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced

Method

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Add the onions and blanch for 2 minutes to loosen the papery skins. Drain and rinse under running cold water. Slip off the skins, then trim only the tip of each root, leaving the base intact. This helps the onions hold their shape during cooking.

In a sauté pan just large enough to hold the onions in a single layer, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When it foams, add the onions and cook, stirring often, until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Add ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water, the orange juice, and the chile and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the onions are tender and glazed and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 10–15 minutes longer.

Transfer the onions to a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week before using. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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