I love the cipolline, or onions in a vinegar marinade, that are part of the dazzling antipasti choices available at Trattoria del Pennello on Via Dante Alighieri in Florence. Use small, white onions, no more than 1 inch in diameter. Serve them as an antipasto, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish. They will keep for several weeks stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
1 pound small white onions (unpeeled)
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
Place the onions in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the onions, let cool, then peel off their skins, leaving them whole. Place onions in a glass bowl 3 inches deep and about 6 inches wide.
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt; bring the mixture to a boil. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon and boil for 1 minute, or until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions and add the oregano. Coat the onions well with the marinade. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let onions marinate at room temperature for several hours. Shake the bowl often to distribute the marinade.
Serve without liquid as an appetizer or an accompaniment to cold meats such as chicken, turkey, and roast beef.
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