Some of the world’s best recipes were born of necessity. Like Beef Wellington. I mean, what else do you do when there’s nothing in the fridge but puff pastry, mousse de foie gras and a a whole beef tenderloin?
This dish is just like that. Deep into the sometimes challenging fall produce season, I was staring at a collection of cippolini onions, broccoli and a new Cranberry Port wine jam from Sapore Oil and Vinegar, that was just calling out for a bacon vinaigrette. A request for recommendations on my Facebook page produced a comment from ginger-haired Steve Carpinelli, and Carpinelli’s Cippolinis were born, dressed in a red cranberry port vinaigrette.
The dish balances mildly sharp cippolinis, sweet jam, and salty/fatty bacon, all grounded by earthy broccoli. It’s colorful and fun, and offers a nice break to otherwise hearty-rich fall meals.
Carpinelli’s Cippolini Cranberry Salad
- 2 cups cipolini onions
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 thick slice bacon, diced
- 2 tbs Arbequina olive oil*
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup Cranberry Port Jam*
- 1/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper Blackberry vinegar*
*Arbequina is a mild, grassy, Spanish olive oil. Sherry vinegar is a slightly more acidic substitute for Roasted Red Pepper Blackberry. Red currant jam can be found in most grocery stores and used in place of the Cranberry Port.
- In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch onions for 30-45 seconds. Shock in an ice bath, drain and peel.
- Blanch broccoli florets in the same water until bright green and crisp tender, about 90 seconds. Chill in ice bath, drain and dry.
- Fry bacon in skillet over medium heat. When cooked through, remove bacon, leaving fat in the pan.
- Add Arbequina olive oil as needed to make 1/4 cup fat.. Add shallots and sauté until softened, 3-5 min.
- Add Cranberry Port Jam and whisk until it “melts” into the fat.
- Turn heat to medium-high, add sherry, cippolinis and cranberries. Cook 2 minutes while dressing reduces.
- Season broccoli florets with salt and a splash of Roasted Red Pepper Blackberry vinegar. Top with cippolinis and dressing and sprinkle with dried cranberries.
*Make it vegetarian. Leave out the bacon and start the dressing by sautéing the shallot in olive oil.