Carpinelli’s Cippolinis


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

For salad:

  • 2 cups cipolini onions
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

For dressing:

  • 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.

3 responses »

  1. Oh, Jonathan, please call me “Susie”! Since I just retired from teaching for 34 years, 4th grade through high school, I have left the “Mrs. Armocido” behind, except for the occational old student that I run into! I just realized that I have almost everything in order to also make Carpinelli’s Cippolini Cranberry Salad as another side! Of course, David and I just came back to our little town of Colusa, California, which is located one hour north of Sacramento in the Sacramento Valley,and it is tough in a town of 5,000 to find gourmet items such as Cranberry Port Jam…but, I can fake it since I was a Home Ec teacher for my first five years of teaching!

    As for the Roasted Slices of “Peanut” Pumpkin Squash w/ Goat Cheese and Fried Sage…oh, YUM! Please post!

    We are going to go to our dear friend’s ranch house out in the country amongst their patashio, walnut, and almond orchards, for our Thanksgiving feast, which isa mile down the road from the other ranch house that we were living in when Sam was born! They were our nearest neighbor! Katie, Sam’s sister, who is a labor and delivery nurse near San Francisco, can’t join us either because she will be “birth’in babies”…so, they will have to be with us in spirit.

    When Sam returns,and I get your D.C. address, I will send you the above mentioned nuts to incorporate into some of your tastey delights! (We also grow awesome rice here! It is mostly shipped to Japan. Will include some of that in your Colusa County Care Package.)

    Back to the pies…Happy Cooking! XXXSusie Armocido,

  2. Dear Jonathan,
    A very HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and yours! Loving the blog, and now that I am retired, I actually CAN cook real food, rather then “semi-homemade”! I am missing Sam for Thanksgiving, but he is all booked for Christmas…and besides, he is having a grand time in Ireland! Although his dad is all Italian, I am a large percentage Irish. I offered to make all sorts of exotic dishes for Thanksgiving, but found out that people just want the old Lime Jello with Cream Cheese and chopped up pears…oh,yes…and folded in Cool Whip! Just like “Mom used to make”! Of course, food evokes all of those memories, and although I have never made this jello dish myself…as I put it in the frig to harden last evening, my husband said, “It smells right!” So, as I cook the pumpkin pies and pecan pies early this morning, tradition, I am sneaking in a new delight…Sliced Apple and Cranberry tart brushed with apricot jam glaze! Perhaps this will be a new tradition!

    Happy cooking! Love from Sam’s mom

    P.S. What are you cooking for your Thanksgiving dinner?

    • Thank you Mrs. Armocido!
      We’ve been having fun watching Sam’s posts on Facebook as he travels the UK. It sounds like you’ve got a wonderful Thanksgiving planned. That apple cranberry tart must taste delicious and look beautiful! We’re celebrating with friends today, and I’ve got 9 sides on the menu, including many from my blog. One new dish I’m trying is roasted slices of “peanut” pumpkin squash with goat cheese and fried sage leaves. I’ll post the recipe if it’s any good.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, and thank you for your message!

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