October 24, 2011 - 9:49am
Why is it a natural reaction so say "oh that's so cute" whenever you see something that is smaller than it normally should be (like baby chickens, Smart cars, or those itsy bitsy Mexican gherkin cucumbers)? If the cucumbers got you, you'll be sure to fall hard for this season's tiny Cipollini onions at the Little Italy Mercato. Sweet and elegant, Cipollinis add amazing balance and richness to any dish. You can find some of the cutest little ones at Schaner Farms this weekend, and head home with them to make a tasty, full bodied Fall salad.
Buy a few heirloom potatoes from Sage Mountain Farm and one or two stalks of sweet, fragrant fennel from Suzie's. Dice the onions and halve the potatoes, sauteeing them both in a Tuscan Herb Roasted Olive oil from Gianni Fine Foods. Add a bit of vegetable stock, and flat leaf parsley from JR Organics, let it simmer until the potatoes are soft. Then drain most of the liquid (saving it for your next soup, of course!), dust with a grating of Spring Hill Goat Cheddar, and serve warm, with salt and pepper to taste.
If you want the pure flavor of the onions, roasting them with a bit of balsamic vinegar and thyme is an excellent option as well. This way, you can pair the onions with meat, chicken, or fish, or simply have an incredibly flavorful side dish to accompany soups or salads during these cooler nights.