All About "Cipollini Onions"
About the getting popular and good tasting Cipollini Onions (pronounced chip-ohh-lee-nee). Cipollini onions (also known as Cipolline Onions) are flat-shaped interesting looking semi-sweet white onions (with an occasional hint of green or purple on the inside) and have a thin onion skin, which is yellowish to light brown.
The cipollini onion is considered somewhat of an exotic or gourmet food but becoming more mainstream as time goes by. Cipollini's have a semi-sweet taste and in our opinion it's also a nice mild flavor and good taste. The sweetness is somewhat less than shallots' and similar to red onions and vidalia onions but a bit milder. They contain more sugar vs white, green, spring or yellow onions, but like all onion varieties cipolline's are comparatively very low in calories, plus are a good tasting, healthy and nutritious food.
Cipollini onions are small (mostly 1 to 3 inches wide) with a flat looking shape, which disk-like look is helpful for roasting and cooking, such as used as a pizza topping for example. Cipollini is also good cut into thin strips in salads and on sandwiches. CipolliniOnions slice very well and cleanly. Unlike most garden variety onions cipollini's do not easily fall apart when sliced, when cut raw or cooked. The cipolini onion mildness combines with its sweetness making Cipollinis a nice recipe addition instead of high calorie and too sweet tasting caramelized onions.
Cipollini onions which come from the Farm Direct of course are always fresh tasting and good. However, at times and depending on location, cipollini-onions may be a bit difficult to find in stores since they are less common at the retail and supermarket level. However, we have found these unique and excellent tasting onions at natural food kind of stores and often sold at Trader Joe's stores, who sell cipollini onions already peeled in the fresh vegetable refrigerator section.
The Trader Joe's store plastic bag say's Cipollini Onions have a "sweet, delicate flavor for use in soups, stews and casseroles, or try roasting and enjoyable as a side-dish." Trader Joe's also reports they are real low in calories at 30 calories per serving, with 7g of Carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber and 5g sugar and containing 10% of daily recommended Calcium needs which is good considering serving size is just 2.5 ounces.
If you have trouble finding Cipollini Onions in grocery stores we suggest you buy Cipollini Onion Seeds and grow them yourself, They grow fairly easily and do not need a lot of light or fertilizer. Cipollinis may also be grown indoors near a south or southwest facing kitchen window, or using a fluorescent plant grow light. In fact, it is good to start the onion seedlings sprouting and growing indoors. When the cipollinis' start to increase growth move them outdoors early in the growing season.
Unique Cipollini Onion Recipes
Caramelized Onions with Dried Tomatoes
- 1-1/2 lbs Cipolline Onions, peeled
- 3 tbls oil from oil packed sun-dried tomatoes (or 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbls each chopped fresh rosemary and chopped fresh sage; or 1-1/2 tsp each rosemary (crumbled) and dry sage
- 1/4 cup drained oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped rosemary sprigs (optional)
Place onions in 9x13in baking dish; drizzle with 2 tbls of oil and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sage. Bake uncovered in 375 oven until onions are well browned and soft when pressed (about 45-mts); stir onions occasionally during baking. Remove onions from oven and stir in tomatoes and remaining 1 tbls oil; let cool. If made ahead, cover and refrigerate until next day; bring to room temperature before serving. To serve, transfer to serving dish and garnish with rosemary sprigs if desired. Makes 6 servings
Cipollini Onions & Corn
3 Ears Corn - margarine or butter, season w/salt & pepper grill at medium heat until corn is lightly colored and tender, cut from cob, set aside
2 cups sliced Cipollini Onions
saute with 1/5 cup light olive oil until golden brown
add 1/3 cup honey and cook until caramelized
Add corn and mix well
ready to eat
Basil Pesto & Cipollini Onion
2 Cups of Basil
3 Cloves Garlic
1/3 Cup of Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Filtered Water
1/4 Cup Chopped Cipollini Onions
1/3 Cup Chopped Nuts (walnuts are good)
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
season w/salt & pepper
Wash and drain basil leaves. Place basil in food processor, adding water and a tbsp olive oil at a time until mixture is thick and spreadable but not too liquidly. Next, add parmesan, garlic and nuts, a tbsp at a time, pulsing the food processor until combined. Spread over French Bread, Bagel, Toast, English Muffin, or on top of a Pasta dish.