A traditional Italian onion with a flat oval shape that ranges in size from 1 to 3 inches in diameter. As a member of the shallot family of plants, Cipolline onions are a dry onion harvested when they are mature, providing a flesh that is firm and juicy, with a delicately sweet flavor. This onion is used to season a wide variety of dishes such as meats (pot roasts), soups, stews, vegetable dishes, and casseroles. Also used as a pickling onion, Cipolline onions can be added to meats and other vegetables to grill on skewers.
To prepare, the outer skin can be removed by blanching the onion for a very short time and then shocking it by immersing in cold water. The skin then peels off easily. Onions that remain whole can be kept in cool dry areas for approximately 2 months. When cut, the onion should be refrigerated and used within a week. This onion may also be referred to as a borettana onion.