Onion Walnut and Pancetta Topping

Onion Walnut and Pancetta Topping

This garnish will finish almost any protein with bold, savory flavors. It is a small addition to make a good meal, great. Chef Alex Stratta serves it over Roasted Chicken Breast with Walnuts, Dates, Olives which he serves over a bed of soft polenta.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 – 5 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) diced pancetta
  • 24 “boiling” or cipolinni onions, peeled, OR 1 bag (14 – 16 ounces)
  • frozen small whole onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled, dried rosemary or 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Pepper, and salt if needed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet (a skillet that can go in the oven; cast iron works well) over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic and pancetta and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the onions (it is not necessary to thaw frozen onions) and continue to cook, stirring and tossing for a few minutes, until they are browned in spots. Add the walnuts and rosemary to the pan, then season lightly with pepper, and salt if necessary (remember, the pancetta is quite salty).
  3. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the onions are soft when pierced with a knife point, about 30 minutes minutes. If you used a whole rosemary sprig, remove it after cooking.