I first tasted this sweet, garnet-hued jam as part of a cheese antipasto at Osteria Morini, in Washington, D.C., with extra-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Toscano, and pungent Gorgonzola. I’m grateful to executive sous chef Ben Pflaumer for sharing the recipe. Tropea is an ultra-sweet red onion. If you’re a gardener, you can grow your own. Otherwise, choose good, firm, young red onions. This jam is fantastic on beef burgers with blue cheese.
— Domenica Marchetti
• ON-DEMAND: Listen to Faith’s conversation with Domenica; it aired both in shows about how to make summer last and again during a show about how to make watermelon salad and rosé sangria for a party. •
Text excerpted from PRESERVING ITALY © 2016 by Domenica Marchetti. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photo © 2016 Lauren Volo.
- 1 pound (454 g) Tropea or other red onions cut into small dice
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 1 cup (237 g) Sangiovese or other sturdy red wine
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 1 whole clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-inch piece vanilla bean
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- You'll need the following equipment for this recipe: a 4-inch square of cheesecloth and a length of kitchen twine; an Instant-read thermometer (optional); 2 sterilized 1/2-pint jars and 1 sterilized, 4-ounce jar, and their lids; and Basic water-bath canning equipment.
- Combine the onions, sugar, wine, and salt in a wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Use the cheesecloth to make a sachet for the peppercorns, clove, bay leaf, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick and tie it up with the kitchen twine. Put the sachet in the pot with the other ingredients.
- Bring the onion mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook at a simmer, stirring often, until the jam has thickened and reaches 220 to 225°F and you can drag a path along the bottom of the pot with a silicone spatula, about 20 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remove from the heat.
- Ladle the jam into jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp cloth, if necessary, and screw the lids on the jars. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and set them upright on a clean kitchen towel. Let cool to room temperature before storing in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate once opened, and use within 6 months. If any jars have failed to seal properly, store them in the refrigerator and enjoy those first.
Sue Givens says
I recently made the Tropea Onion Jam….It is FABULOUS!!! Delicious with all kinds of meat and also with a aged Italian cheese! I’m planning on making more and giving as a gift this holiday season. Thanks
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
That’s exactly the kind of thing we like to hear. Thank you so much!
Sue Arbo-Givens says
I made this last summer and at Christmas for gifts… It is delicious! Great on all meats and especially delicious in a very gooey, melty grilled cheese. My 91 year old mom loves it!
Robyn Doyon-Aitken says
So glad you liked it. Thanks for listening!