This is my simple recipe for onion jam made with the red onions that are very large and special and arrive in August from Bisacquino, a Sicilian jewel in the Sicani Mountains.
Bisacquino and the onion are united by a very long history and the onion is called “busacchinara” as if it were a beautiful woman. An onion can weigh up to a kilo and you can almost hug it.
You can practically make a jam even with just one onion!
The jam accompanies my roasts, boiled meats and cheeses. And to give it a slightly more sweet and sour flavour, before serving it in a separate bowl, I add a little balsamic vinegar.
There is a beautiful story linked to its cultivation. It is said, in fact, that it dates back to the war of the gods who turned into onions to escape the wrath of Jupiter.
It is not even imaginable for how many millennia humans have eaten onions, and certainly they were already famous in Egypt. But its real spread in Sicily took place in the Jewish quarters, the ‘Giudecche’.
And the Jewish quarter of Bisaquino was particularly large.
Today Bisaquino has dedicated a special festival to its onion, the Onion Festival where you can buy jams and even taste onion ice cream.
By the way, it seems that the great Frederick II was also crazy about it, especially in the bittersweet version.
This is my jam recipe that I prepare every summer and then enjoy it with friends in the winter.
Bisacquino Onion Jam Recipe
- 1 kg of Bisacquino pink onion
- 200 g of sugar
- 200 dl of rosé wine
- 50 dl of water
- 4 cloves
- 5 grains of coriander or pink pepper
- 6 bay leaves
Slice the onion thin and let it macerate for 4 hours in a porcelain or steel (not plastic) bowl with all the ingredients described above.
After two hours, remove the bay leaves and cloves.
Put everything in a steel pot and over low heat bringing it to a boil.
When the onion is reduced and thickened, pour it into the jars. Then plug the jars and turn them upside down for 2 minutes, then place them in a basket or box well wrapped in newspaper. Keep them like this for 48 hours. The opened jar should be kept in the fridge.