Come fall, the hunger for the fresh and the raw is replaced by the desire to simmer and braise—two cooking methods that particularly suit cipollini, the onionlike bulbs of the grape hyacinth. The flying-saucer-shaped Italian import has taken root here, and squat specimens are widely available at the Greenmarket—just a short hop away from Union Square Cafe, the source of this sweet-and-sour recipe from chef Michael Romano.
Michael Romano’s Glazed Cipollini
1 pound cipollini
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups red wine
2 tablespoons honey
1 bay leaf
(1) Soak cipollini in ice water for an hour to make them easier to peel.
(2) Peel with a paring knife. Heat butter in saucepan or straight-sided skillet over medium flame until it turns nutty brown. Add cipollini and cook, while stirring, about 8 minutes, until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add wine, honey, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until cipollini are tender. Raise heat and boil until wine has reduced and glazed the cipollini;
(3) stir often to coat and adjust heat as necessary to prevent glaze from sticking to the pan. Serve immediately, ideally as an accompaniment to any roasted meat.