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The onion, it has been said, is the truffle of the poor. That may be, but one thing for sure is that onions are popular — while they carry with them a certain sulfurous pungency. Ironically, though it separates into many layers, the word onion comes from the Latin word for “one” or “unity.”
Can you imagine: Romans had raw onions on bread for breakfast? Wow. The cipollini, however, is a bit milder, and I love cooking with them: blanch in boiling water for a couple minutes then plunge into an ice bath (the onions, not you). This makes them easier to peel.
Toss in some olive oil, a bit of butter and a sprig or two of rosemary and roast them in a 350-degree oven until soft (about an hour, depending on size). Their flat nature, in fact, allows them to roast quite nicely.
Here’s a fragment of onion doggerel, from Swift:
There is in every cook’s opinion,
No savoury dish without on onion:
But lest your kissing should be spoiled
The onion must be thoroughly boiled.