Bored of the same old onions? Spice things up with this recipe for borettane onions. These Italian onions are sautéed in spiced rosemary-infused oil and make a delicious side dish or appetizer. Ready in 25 minutes, this recipe is easy and perfect for any occasion. The recipe offers substitutions for yellow and pearl onions made in Indian or Middle-Eastern style.
We all love onions, but there are many different kinds of them; moreover so many ways to cook and enjoy these flavor-packed goodies.
Borettane onions are a type of onion that is popular in Italy. They are small, round onions with light yellow skin and a sweet flavor. They are often used in salads, pickled, as a side dish, appetizers, or garnished on other meals.
This spiced onion recipe was inspired by the roasted Spanish escalivada recipe on this site, and pairs well with rosemary focaccia bread, Pagnotta (easy Italian bread loaf), inside arepa sandwiches, or on top of traditional hummus or guacamole for an unexpected twist.
- Borettane onions or pearl onions (see below substitutions)
- Red chilies (pepperoncini)
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh rosemary
Optional: salt and black peppercorns
See the recipe card for quantities.
So, this is how to make spiced onions in four simple steps.
Soak the onions in cold water to make it easier to peel them.
On low heat, infuse the olive oil with the rosemary sprig and pepperoncini for 2-3 minutes.
Fry the onions in a pan with a little olive oil and rosemary and pepperoncini until lightly golden
Add one cup of water and put the lid on. Let them cook for 15-20 minutes.
Let the onions cook until almost all the water is consumed and the onions are perfectly soft but haven't lost their shape.
- Onions - instead of borettane onions, you can use any small-sized onions, like pearl onions. In that case, add one tablespoon of sugar; since these Italian onions are more sugary than regular ones, you will need extra sugar to caramelize the onions.
- Regular onions - you can apply the same technique to other types of onions, such as yellow, white, or red onions. Simple use of thick onion slices or coarsely chopped onions.
- Pepperoncini - use red chili flakes or any other fresh or dried chili.
- Rosemary - use fresh thyme sprigs or sage.
- Extra-virgin olive oil - any other oil will work. You can use regular vegetable oil, just about using oil with a distinctive flavor like coconut oil.
- Middle eastern - instead of rosemary and pepperoncini, add ½ teaspoon of sumac, Lebanese seven spices, lemon peel, and/or paprika. Then add them to vegan kebabs, and serve with tabbouleh salad.
- Indian spiced onions - to give a different flavor profile to these spicy onions, you could use Indian spices, such as cumin powder, cumin seeds, chaat masala, garam masala, lemon juice, chilli powder, fenugreek leaves, or cayenne pepper. Simply infuse the oil with the spices before adding the sliced onions to the saucepan.
The Indian spiced onions are the perfect accompaniment for mango chutney and cucumber mint sauce, as they usually serve them in Indian restaurants for the total feast.
Another great pairing is a mushroom tikka masala curry.
🥢 How to serve
These small Italian onions (cipolline) are traditionally served as a side dish for meat or as an appetizer with cured meat and cheeses.
We suggest serving them vegan options like focaccia bread as part of a vegan charcuterie board, including red pepper hummus, Spanish tapas like sautéed chickpeas and spinach, muhammara toasted walnuts dip, pumpkin hummus, roasted butternut squash, Spanish vegetables, vegan ricotta cheese, and crackers.
To make this carmelized onions recipe, you only need a mixing bowl and a small saucepan with a lid to soak the onions. Nothing complicated.
- Fridge - store the onions in a mason jar in the fridge. Good for 5-7 days.
- Freezer - you can freeze the onions in an airtight container and let them thaw overnight when ready to use.
You can also thaw them in the microwave at medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Caramelized onions are a type of slow-cooked onion that has been cooked until it takes on a dark brown color. They're often used as a flavorful topping for pizzas, salads, and other dishes.
Caramelized onions are a delicious treat that can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. While they are higher in sugar and calories than raw onions, the process of caramelization releases many beneficial nutrients, including antioxidants and cancer-fighting compounds.
Research has shown that caramelized onions may help improve cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and wound healing. When consumed in moderation, caramelized onions can be a healthy and delicious addition to your diet.
If you try this spicy onions recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Spiced Onions Recipe (Borettane Onions)
- Soak the onions in cold water to make it easier to peel them; then peel them.
- On low heat, infuse the olive oil with the rosemary sprig and pepperoncini for 2-3 minutes.
- Fry the onions in a pan with a little olive oil and rosemary and pepperoncini until lightly golden
- Add one cup of water and put the lid on. Let them cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve immmediately.
- Store the onions in a mason jar in the fridge. Good for 5-7 days.You can freeze the onions in an airtight container and let them thaw overnight when ready to use.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove