Braised food

Braised onions in red wine with prunes

Jim Dixon wrote about food for WW for more than 20 years, but these days most of his time is spent at his olive oil-focused specialty food business, Wellspent Market. Jim has always loved to eat and he encourages his customers to cook by sending them recipes every week via his newsletter. We are happy to see him again creating special dishes just for WW readers.

Braised onions in red wine with prunes

I first tasted onions braised in red wine years ago in Navarre, and it’s one of those deceptively simple concoctions that transcends its humble beginnings. Slice a few onions, cook them briefly in olive oil and butter, cover them with red wine, simmer for an hour and the result is magical.

There were a few raisins dusted with those onions in Navarre, but I like to use prunes to get a bigger bite of the sweet, wine-puffed fruit, which loses much of its sweetness during cooking. Since this is peasant food, choose a decent but everyday red wine, especially since you’ll be drinking the half bottle you don’t use for the onions. They go well with meat, but they are just as good on their own.

4-6 red onions

20-30 pitted prunes

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

½ bottle of red wine, about 1 ½ cups

Salt to taste

Cut the onions in half by the root, peel them and cut each half into three thick slices. Heat the oil and butter in a wide, shallow pan with a lid, add the onions with a good pinch of salt and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes.

Add prunes and red wine, cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Taste and salt as needed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a bowl or dish, increase the heat to medium and reduce the remaining liquid to about ½ cup. Pour it over the onions.

Serve warm or at room temperature; they are even better the next day.