In our garden, once we’ve grown onions, how can we preserve them for a long time and enjoy them even out of season? The sweet and sour onion recipe is truly simple and accessible to everyone and fully answers this question. To prepare it, we recommend using the famous Tropea onion, an Italian agricultural excellence with IGP (Protected Geographical Indication). However, if you can’t find it, you can use any variety. The key is to source them from local farmers’ markets or, even better, from your own garden. Growing onions is quite straightforward and can be done abundantly in home gardens. Onions are easy to care for and can provide great satisfaction.
Let’s explore this simple and flavorful recipe that allows us to make the most of our onions. By preserving them this way, we can enjoy them in a delightful manner throughout the winter season.
Ingredients for Sweet and Sour Onions
To prepare sweet and sour onions, you’ll need these simple ingredients:
- 1 kg of small-sized Tropea onions
- 1/2 liter of white vinegar
- 150 ml of water
- 150 ml of extra virgin olive oil
- 100 grams of sugar
- Salt to taste
Preparing Sweet and Sour Onions
First, clean the onions by peeling them, removing the outer layer, and trimming both ends. Once cleaned, wash them thoroughly and let them dry, preferably on a kitchen towel. In a sufficiently large pot, bring all the other ingredients to a boil: white vinegar, water, extra virgin olive oil, sugar, and salt. The heat should be high, and you should stir the liquid well to dissolve the sugar. When it reaches a boil, add the freshly washed and dried onions. The cooking liquid should be enough to cover the onions. Once in the pot, let it come back to a boil over high heat. From the moment it starts boiling again, time it for two minutes. This brief cooking time is enough to cook the onions while keeping them crisp. After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and place everything into jars. Divide the onions among the jars and cover them with the same cooking liquid. Ensure that the liquid covers the onions well (you can use a fork to help). Seal the jars tightly.
Tips for Preparation
By using the cooking liquid, we’ll give our Tropea onions a delicate sweet and sour flavor and create a vacuum seal. The successful vacuum seal can be verified as the jars make the classic click sound as they cool down.
Our advice to prevent the liquid from cooling down is to prepare the jars with their respective caps beforehand. In case the liquid cools down before being added to the jars, reheat it on high heat. It’s essential that it’s boiling; otherwise, the vacuum won’t work. Choose glass jars that are proportionate to the size of the onions, more or less wide. You can find a wide selection of suitable jars here. To savor the sweet and sour onions at their best, let them soak in their syrup for at least a month. This Calabrian tradition pairs wonderfully with any type of appetizer.
Storing Sweet and Sour Onions
Sweet and sour onions can be stored for up to six months. Store the jars in a dark, dry place. Once opened, refrigerate the jar and consume the onions within a few days. This recommendation applies to all homemade preserves, such as zucchini in oil, chili peppers in oil, or sun-dried tomatoes in oil.