Jam, confit, preserve and marmalade all have a set reputation of belonging solely at the breakfast table with toast, a pat of butter and a cup of tea. I like to break reputations… no pun intended there… but I believe in overthrowing rules, crossing boundaries and shattering misconceptions. And food allows me to do so, without attracting too much outrage.
During my recent trip to Italy, my aunt insisted I pick up a batch load of onions, lemons and tomatoes that was part of the event decor. True to obnoxious-Gujju style, we managed to find a carton and packed up the fresh vegetables and I flew back with them in my suitcase, non c’e problema! The one that took my fancy were these fabulous cipolla di Tropea onion. They are red onions, that are delightfully sweet in taste and make every bite simply belissimo!
Whenever I travel with a precious ingredients from across seas, I am inclined to savour the ingredient with slow and steady usage. So I decided turning them into a kind of relish or condiment that fits nicely into a jar and stays with me a bit longer, than say on a pizza or pasta sauce!
Since these onions are naturally sweet, I needed something a spicy, warm and oh-so-good. I added a bunch of chilies, garlic and herbs, cooked with red wine vinegar, and towards the end, swirled in some good old-fashioned butter to thicken the jammy relish.
This confit goes perfectly with just about everything, but the best pairing is with cheese. An extra cheese-y grilled cheese, omelette with Padano cheese, a cheese platter and even a few spoons swirled into buttered spaghetti and parmesan. This goes good in salads, alongside tikkas or gourmet tacos. The choices are endless!
P.S. you need not fly all the way to Italy for this recipe, regular Indian onions will work just fine.