Small Onions in a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Rating: 3.6/5. From 47 votes.
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Small Onions in a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Category: Appetizers, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Servings: 10

Small Onions in a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Your guests will be fighting over these tangy onions! Remember to provide plenty of bread to mop up the delicious caramelized sauce coating them. At our cooking school in Tuscany, this side dish is one of the biggest hits!


  • 700 g (1 1/2 lb) small white pickling onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or clear honey
  • Half cup balsamic vinegar (or mixture of balsamic and wine vinegars, to taste)
  • 1/2 litre (1 pint) cups vegetable stock


  1. Trim the onions of any remaining peel and hairy bits.
  2. In a heavy pan, brown the onions in a little olive oil, turning them over, until they are golden.
  3. Mix the vinegar and sugar/honey well.
  4. Add the mixture to the onions and cook for 5 minutes on a medium-high heat, stirring continuously.
  5. Cover (no more) with vegetable stock, cover the pan and cook on a slow heat for 45 minutes, adding a little more stock gradually as needed. You should aim for a thick syrupy coating on the onions.

4 replies
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    I went on one of Shilpa’s cooking course in August 2009. What a fantastic week. My husband didn’t do the cooking but joined in everything else and since getting home we have tried to adopt the Organic Tuscany “way”. Our favourite meal from the course was the caramelized onions, the chicken marinated in red wine, served with either taglietelle (I make that) or gnocchi (which he makes). Thanks to Christina we are pretty good at choosing which wines go well with our meal. We enjoyed Organic Tuscany so much last year and this year we rented a flat near to Certaldo and visited some of the places I missed on the course last year and also popped into see Terry and Clara (to buy espresso cups). Somehow I don’t think 2010 will be our last visit to Tuscany !!!!

  2. Vidya
    Vidya says:

    I’ve been making this recipe for years—ever since I learned it in Shilpa’s class. Every time I make it, it is gobbled up, and I am asked for the recipe. I have no idea why it only has 3.5 stars, as it is one of the best recipes from the course. I highly recommend it. It is a little time consuming to peel all the onions and to wait for the sauce to reduce, but it is worth it!

  3. Joan Katz
    Joan Katz says:

    This is a great recipe! I serve it often, and my guests love it. It definitely deserves 5 stars.

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