These round, flat Italian onions are about one to two inches in diameter. They’re available in the fall. Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee this is a smaller, flat, pale onion. The flesh is a slight yellowish color and the skins are thin and papery. The color of the skin ranges from pale yellow to the light brown color of Spanish onions. These are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots. The flavor is sweet and rather mild. Also available is a red cipollini.
The advantage to cipollinis is that they are small and flat and the shape lends them well to roasting. This combined with their sweetness makes for a lovely addition to recipes where you might want to use whole caramelized onions. It is well suited for grilling and for kabobs. Excellent when roasted with meats or fish. High in fiber.
Cipollini onions were originally cultivated in Boretto, Italy in the 1400’s. Originally grown only for domestic distribution, the Cipollini onion traveled across Europe and subsequently to America with Italian immigrants. Cipollini onions are now grown around the globe in regions where the climate matches that of its origin.