The season of red sweet onions of Tropea is almost upon us. They will be collected in the next 3-4 weeks in the areas of Ricardi and Capo Vaticano, near the beautiful town of Tropea in Calabria. The red onions are sweet and juicy and can be eaten raw in salads, used for making crostata (Italian pie), frittata and even jam. I am preparing space in my pantry for fresh cipolla di Tropea but at the moment I have a few red bulbs left from the last season. They are still delicious but that onion va-va-voom is just not there any more. To bring some vigour back to the old red bulbs of Tropea, I decided to pickle them in lemon juice. The result was finger-lickin’good!
2 large red onions of Tropea, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tbsp fresh oregano and thyme
juice of 4 medium lemons
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsps fennel seeds
In a small bowl toss the onions with salt and let them sit for 15-20 minutes, till they release some liquid. Transfer them to a small jar together with the rest of the ingredients and pour the lemon juice over. If the onions are not fully immersed in the juice, add a small amount of cold water. Close the jar with the lid, shake it gently. Marinate for one night. Serve as a side dish or an appetiser.