As we’re coming into the fall season—and I say that lightly because we’ve been having higher-than-normal temperatures for this time of year—we’re beginning to see the first offerings of the autumn harvests. A little.
Anyway, at my farmers’ market, I spotted cipolline, which are a specific kind of onion and very popular in Italian cuisine. I usually buy a batch and make cipolline in agrodolce (sweet and sour cipolline) for Thanksgiving. But since I spotted these way too early for the holidays, but couldn’t resist buying them, I decided to experiment with my recipe a little. The difference here is booze. I wanted to see what a little alcohol would do to the mixture.
The question was, what type of alcohol did I want to add? I debated between bourbon, vodka, and a liqueur. Ultimately, I went with apricot brandy. It gave the onions a sweet but—not surprising—boozy edge. In short, they’re really good. Give it a try.
Cipolline in Agrodolce (Sweet and Sour Cipolline Onions)
1 pound cipolline onions, outer skin removed
2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup apricot brandy
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon oregano
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the onions and lower the heat. Simmer for about a minute or two and drain. When the onions are cool enough to handle, trim them and peel off the tough outer layer.
Combine the sugar and ¼ cup water in a medium pot. Bring it to a boil; lower the heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add the vinegar and bring to a boil again. Simmer until thickened.Add one cup water, the cipolline, and the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer about 45 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let them cool. Transfer everything to a jar or sealable bowl and refrigerate.
Cipolline will last about a week.