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sweet and sour shallots
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Venetian Sweet-and-Sour Shallots

Sweet and sour is a typically Venetian flavor. Fish, vegetables, meats, game, and even fruits are done this way.” Francesco’s taste for sweet-and-sour is truly Venetian. The preservative properties of both sugar and acid have long been recognized. In Venice the two are combined, often in a savory mix of onions, pine nuts, and raisins glazed with vinegar, a preparation called “in saor.” Adam Tihany has always been intrigued by the taste of sweet-and-sour dishes in both Venetian and Chinese cooking. He likes to think of it as a legacy of Marco Polo, the quintessential culinary manifestation of the meeting of the two cultures. At Remi, Francesco’s staff prepares tender, well-glazed sweet and sour shallots each day to use as garnishes, not only for salads but also for fish, meats, and vegetables, to add a mellow yet piquant suggestion of ‘in saor’ to many dishes.

sweet and sour shallots

Sweet and Sour Shallots

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 24 shallots peeled
  • 2 cups (375 ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 teaspoons (90 ml) red wine vinegar


  • Place the shallots in saucepan, add the stock, and simmer gently 25 to 30 minutes, until the shallots are tender. Much of the stock will evaporate.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet and stir in the sugar.
  • Add the shallots along with any remaining stock and cook over medium heat until the shallots become brown and glazed.
  • Stir in the vinegar and cook a few minutes longer, so the shallots are just coated with a syrupy sweet and sour sauce.
  • Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
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