Today's post has to do with this rather large bag of small brown onions that for some reason I just had to buy when I saw them at the farmers' market.
I reassured myself that yes indeed, I could do lots of stuff with them!
Now, the only real problem with onions is the chore of peeling and cutting them. There are many tricks to avoid the tears from the sulfenic acids such as
- cut them under running water
- wet the onions before you cut them
- use a really sharp knife
- keep the onions in the fridge
- place the knife in the freezer before cutting the onions
Returning to the onions in question, I decided to make some pickled onions with the smaller ones but I really didn't want to go through the rigmarole of peeling - the solution came in a technique from an earlier soup recipe - roasting them out of their skin. For the pickling liquid, I've based it on a favourite Italian version that uses Balsamic Vinegar. The other benefit of this method is that they are ready to eat virtually straight away.
Baby brown Onions
You'll notice I've left the quantities deliberately vague. For the pickling liquid, use equal proportions of oil to vinegar and the brown sugar is added to taste. How much you use will depend on the vinegar and oil and your own personal preference. Just whisk these ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved.
To prepare the onions:
Toss the onions in a little olive oil and place them on a baking tray.
Bake in a 180°C/350°F oven until the onions have softened, about 1 hour. Let them cool slightly.
Cut the root end and prize out the soft onion from the skin. Place these in a jar and then fill with the pickling liquid. Shake the jar if it looks like the liquid has separated. You can serve them after a few hours or leave them overnight for a more intense flavour.
These make an excellent companion for an antipasto platter - or try slicing them and adding them to salads for a nice tangy surprise.