Pearl Onions in Balsamic Vinegar

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Cipolline in Agrodolce


  • 1 lb cipolline (little white onions)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or red or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or more to taste if using red/white wine vinegar)
  • pinch of salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil, and add the onions
  2. Lower to a simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes
  3. Drain and peel the onions
  4. Meanwhile in a saucepan, warm the olive oil with the bay leaves
  5. Turn the peeled onions in the olive oil and sautee for 5 minutes or until just browned
  6. Add the vinegar and sugar; raise the heat slightly and cook stirring frequently until the vinegar-sugar mixture starts to caramelize, (about 2 minutes)
  7. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves
  8. Turn the onions gently to coat thoroughly with syrupy mixture
  9. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool
  10. Serve at room temperature