Pan-Roasted Balsamic Onions


We mixed leeks with equal amounts of red and white pearl onions and cipollini (flat little Italian onions), but you can use any combination of small, sweet onions.


  • 10 ounces white pearl onions

  • 10 ounces red pearl onions

  • 10 ounces cipollini onions

  • 2 ¼ pounds leeks

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 cup Homemade Chicken Stock

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add white and red pearl and cipollini onions, and boil for 1 minute. Drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then carefully peel, leaving root and stem ends intact. Transfer to a large bowl, and add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to combine.

  2. Meanwhile, remove any damaged outer leaves from leeks, then trim and discard dark-green tops. Trim roots of leeks without cutting off the base. Cut them in half lengthwise, and let soak in a large bowl of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes to rid them of dirt and sand. Lift leeks from water, pat dry, and place in a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss to combine.

  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and leeks. Saute leeks until slightly tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove leeks from skillet, and set aside.

  4. Add remaining tablespoon oil and white, red, and cipollini onions to skillet, and saute turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  5. Reduce heat to medium low, and add balsamic vinegar and stock; cover skillet, and cook until onions are tender, 20 to 30 minutes, adding the leeks to pan after 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover, and add butter; increase heat to high, and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until liquid reduces to a glaze and coats the onions, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper if desired, and serve immediately.

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