Serves: Makes 6 servings
- 1 pound cipolline onions
- ½ cup dry sherry
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅛ teaspoon saffron threads
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, or more to taste
Procedures:Italian cipolline (chip-oh-LEE-nay) onions are small, brown skinned, and squat, as if a weight flattened them. Peeled and braised with butter, honey, sherry, and raisins, they make an exotic sweet-tart condiment for roast pork, duck, or the Thanksgiving turkey. Saffron threads tint the onions the color of burnished gold.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Add the onions to the boiling water and boil for 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve or colander, then transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain again and peel. The skin will slip off each onion easily. Cut off the threadlike tail and trim the root end of any root hairs, but leave the root end intact to hold the onion together.
- Combine the onions, sherry, raisins, honey, butter, saffron, and 2 tablespoons water in a 10-inch skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, then cover and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn over the onions with tongs so they cook evenly. Re-cover and continue cooking until the onions are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes longer.
- Uncover, raise the heat to high, and cook until the juices have reduced almost to a glaze. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and the sherry vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm.