Side dish/ Vegetables

Balsamic Cippolini Onions with Tomatoes

Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee.

Another side dish to go with any meal. Not too many calories either.

These were great with the pulled pork sandwich and the cheese grits. You can’t see much of the onions in this picture but there were more onions than tomatoes in the dish.

While in Houston a few weeks go, I was at Central Market grocery. I love walking around in specialty grocery stores, especially this one because they have so many different kinds of produce than you would ever see in your corner grocery. They have more than 100 kinds of fish and have so many kinds of bread and cheeses it makes you just want to stand and drool over them. I am always looking for something different to try for the blog and I knew this store would have it. At first I saw this “budda’s hand” fruit (see below)

and thought that that might be interesting to try, but frankly it was a little scary looking and I had no idea what I would do with it.

I was looking at their selections of onions and they had so many to choose from. The cippolini onions were so cute I couldn’t resist them.  These onions are specific to Italian cooking and a smaller, flat with a yellowish skin and are sweeter onions that have more sugar than the garden-variety of yellow or white onion.  This onion is great for roasting. Cippolinis are actually the small bittersweet bulbs that come from the grape hyacinth.

Using balsamic vinegar when roasting these at high heat makes for a perfectly beautiful glaze and the onions become caramelized and the tomatoes soft and sweet. This makes a great side dish with just about anything you are putting on the table.

We use to grow both onions and tomatoes and did so quite successfully until we moved to Texas and got a dog. We could always tell when the tomatoes and onions were ready to be picked because our dog would return to the house after doing her business smelling like either tomatoes or onions.  She enjoyed them quite often; and two dogs later (we now have no dog) I buy my onions and tomatoes at the grocery. Maybe some day we will give them another try — that is if we can keep the squirrels from eating them.

When we went up to my sister’s back in January, I took these tomatoes and onions. One of her friends brought over a smoked pork butt for us and I decided that the onions and tomatoes would be a great side dish to go with our pulled pork sandwiches with creamy cheese grits.

Ever see these cute little onions in your grocery?

Drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic and herbs. Add the broth to the pan.
Cooked until onions are tender and the tomatoes are almost falling apart.

Balsamic Cippolini Onions with Tomatoes


  • 1/2 lb. cippolini onions remove the skins, trim ends
  • 5 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1/8 c. beef broth optional
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove skins from the onions.  Lay them in oven-proof baking dish along with the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  2. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the onions and tomatoes. Roast them for approximately 15 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 350° and bake for another 15 minutes. You need to watch the onions/tomatoes so they do not brown too quickly.  You may want to turn the temperature down to 350° sooner. If the onions don't look done and tender, continue to cook until they are soft to touch.

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