Seared Tuna with Sweet and Sour Cipollini Onions

Seared Tuna With Sweet and Sour Cipollini

Whenever possible I like to feature Sicilian inspired dishes here for a couple of reasons. First, my family is Sicilian in origin. Although my parents met here in America, both of their families are from the same town in Sicily, Francavilla di Sicilia. Second, and more importantly, Sicilian cooking is awesome and unique!  In it you can find the influences of it’s many occupiers over the centuries, including Italian, Greek, Spanish and Arab cuisines.

Agrodolce, or sweet and sour, is a flavor combination that is found quite a bit in Sicilian cooking and Tuna with Sweet and Sour Onions is a classic example of it. Here I apply a slight twist to the traditional dish, using little ciopollini onions (which I have been obsessed with lately) and balsamic vinegar in place of the usual red wine vinegar.

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Seared Tuna With Sweet and Sour Cipollini

Seared Tuna with Sweet and Sour Cipollini Onions Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ciopollini onions
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 Tuna steaks
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • several mint leaves, cut into strips


  1. In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the ciopollini onions and cook, until lightly browned on all sides and slightly softened 8-10 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, sugar, water and a pinch of salt, and add to the onions.
  4. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until the mixture is reduced down to a syrupy texture and sticks to the onions.
  5. Season the tuna steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.
  6. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the tuna steaks to the hot skillet and sear each side for 1 minute for medium-rare.
  7. Place the tuna steaks in serving plates and spoon the onions on top or around the sides. Sprinkle with the mint and serve.

3 Responses

  1. Chef, this recipe looks amazing and I finally found a nearby market that Carrie’s cipollini onions. I’ve never used them before and was wondering if there is any special prep needed for them.

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