Onion Marmalade

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    6 cups

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This is a superb condiment for grilled sausages or even grilled hamburgers or steak. While it is not an Italian tradition to serve onion marmalade with grilled meats (it’s actually sort of French), this recipe is an adaptation of a Sicilian pearl onion conserve. You can substitute pearl onions for the reds; you’ll just have to cook them longer. But peeling the little onions is very time consuming, so I suspect you’ll appreciate this version. The taste is the same, only the shape has changed.


  • 12 cups sliced (¼ inch) red onions
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • cup cider or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup dry sherry or Marsala
  • 2 cups raisins


Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and pepper flakes; cook covered 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the raisins and cook until the liquid is thickened and the onions are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the raisins and simmer 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust the sweet, sour, and hot ratios if needed. Let cool.