Earlier in the week I promised you another cozy cool-weather recipe, and now I’ve returned to deliver on my word. For those caramelized onion fans in the crowd (which, let’s be real, is pretty much everyone), I’ve got something very very special for you. This simple appetizer is made of of small pearl onions, caramelized in a delicious balsamic and olive oil base, with a splash of vegetable stock, pinch of salt, and drizzle of honey. It takes all of 45 minutes to put together, most of which is just letting the onions caramelize on their own in the pan, and is worth every minute of effort. Sweet, salty, tangy, the flavors of the ingredients intensify as the onions cook down and they result in a wonderfully complex-tasting dish, when in reality you can count the ingredients on two hands.
This recipe is from Tori Ritchie’s cookbook, Braises and Stews, which is another featured book on the Chronicle Book ‘eye candy’ e-cookbook sale. I *highly* recommend checking in on their rotating sale, if you have an iPad or a kindle fire their digital cookbooks look beautiful and are so, somuch cheaper than the printed version. This is especially handy if, like myself, your hardcover cookbook collection has gotten waaaaay out of hand (this realization dawned on me as we were moving boxes upon boxes of cookbooks from California to Oregon…oof.) but you still want to add to your collection. Plus, you’re saving trees. Hurray!
And just a note on the kitchen front, we had the gas line installed this week and this was the first thing I cooked on my ‘new to me’ gas range. AHHHHHH!!!! It’s an old vintage one that I found after weeks of scouring Craigslist and it is SO ridiculously cute. I was so ecstatic about being able to actually *cook* in the kitchen again that I kept dancing around the stove while the onions were caramelizing, filled with the glee of having part of my home back. Fingers crossed, if all goes well it should be done around the end of this month, but after all the delays we’ve encountered, I’ve learned to block all kitchen-related deadlines from my mind for the time being…
Pearl Onions in Honey and Balsamic
- 1 pound pearl onions
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of salt
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the onions, cook for 2 minutes, then drain. When cool enough to touch, slice off the root ends and slip off the skins of the onions. Set peeled onions aside.
- In a small sauté pan, warm the bay leaf in the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and a pinch of salt and shake to coat onions with oil. Add the vinegar and let cook, shaking pan, until it almost completely evaporates, about 1 minute. Add the broth and honey and stir to blend. Let the liquid come to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until onions are softened, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook onions over high heat until sauce is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.