There are 300 species of onion within the allium genus that vary in size, shape, taste, and smell.
Bulb onions are available summer through fall, and throughout the winter with proper storage. In spring and early summer we rely on chives, scallions, and bunching onions to satisfy our onion needs. Baby bulb onions and the first of the leeks follow soon thereafter.
How to Prepare:
First slice off the top of the onion, then remove the papery skin and any brown outer layers. To chop the onion, cut in half from top to bottom making a number of horizontal cuts towards the root. Next make vertical cuts towards the root. Finally, holding the onion very firmly and with the knife blade at right angles to the first set of cuts that you made, slice down vertically and the onion will fall away in small pieces as you go.
How to Store:
Bulb onions will store for several months in a cool, dry, ventilated place. Warmth and moisture will cause sprouting. Store cut onion in the refrigerator in an airtight container to avoid transference of flavors to other foods. Use as soon as possible. Store chives or scallions wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for 2-3 days.
How to Cook:
You can enjoy onions steamed, boiled, sauteed, stir-fried, braised, baked, grilled, or roasted.
Information adapted from From Asparagus to Zucchini
Caramelized Onion Tart with Gorgonzola and Brie
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups of sliced onions, sliced root-to-top into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 8 oz frozen puff pastry (defrosted a couple hours in the fridge)
- 2 oz chilled Brie cheese, rind removed and diced
- 2 oz Gorgonzola or other blue cheese, diced
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
Heat oil in a large deep pan on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for about 10 minutes or until wilted and starting to brown. Add sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook gently, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until richly caramelized. Add a little water if the onions look like they are starting to dry out. Cool. Roll pastry into a 10-to-14-inch rectangle (or whatever shape you want). Place pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Prick with a fork at a couple inch increments to prevent the pastry from forming big bubbles while baking. Spread onions over pastry, all the way to the edges of the pastry. Dot with cheese. Sprinkle with tarragon. Refrigerate if not baking immediately. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until cheese has melted and pastry is crispy. Cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges or squares and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of Simply Recipes
Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys
- 1 tbsp. barley malt syrup
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, stir together syrup, yeast, and 1-½ cups water heated to 115 degrees; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour and salt, and mix on low speed until dough forms; increase speed to medium, and knead dough until smooth, about 8 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled in size, about 1-½ hours. Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in poppy seeds and salt and pepper; set aside to cool.
Uncover and punch down dough; cover again and let sit until doubled in size again, about 1 hour. Uncover dough and transfer to a clean work surface; portion and shape into about eighteen 2-oz. balls. Place 6 balls each on 3 parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced evenly apart; cover with plastic wrap and let sit until puffed, about 30 minutes. Uncover balls, and using the palm of your hand, gently flatten each into a disk; cover again and let sit until puffed, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Uncover balls, and, using your fingers, press the center of each to indent; continue pressing and stretching center of each dough ball until you’re left with a thin center membrane surrounded by a thick ring of dough on the outer edge. Fill centers of each dough round with about 1 tsp. onion-poppy seed filling. Working with one baking sheet at a time, place in oven, and spray bialys with water until completely coated. Bake until lightly browned and still soft, about 16 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur
Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad
- 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
- ¼ red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
- 2 splashes red wine vinegar
- Coarse salt and black pepper
Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand while you prepare dinner, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network
Herb & Onion Frittata
- 1 cup diced onion
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup liquid egg substitute
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, or ½ teaspoon dried
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons farmer’s cheese, or reduced-fat ricotta
Bring onion and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook until the onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the water has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle in oil and stir until coated. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Pour in egg substitute, reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until the egg is starting to set, about 20 seconds. Continue cooking, lifting the edges so the uncooked egg will flow underneath, until mostly set, about 30 seconds more.
Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper over the frittata. Spoon cheese on top. Lift up an edge of the frittata and drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of water under it. Cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot, about 2 minutes. Slide the frittata out of the pan using the spatula and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Eating Well
Creamed Onion Gratin
- 2 medium yellow onions, cored and quartered lengthwise
- ¼ olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan
- 3 oz. Gorgonzola, crumbled
- ¼ tsp. paprika
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toss onions with oil in a 9 inch by 11 inch baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 1 hour; set aside. Heat oven to broil. Heat butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add flour, and cook, stirring, until smooth, about 1 minute. Add cream and wine, and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour sauce evenly over onions. Sprinkle with parmesan, dot with Gorgonzola, and sprinkle with paprika; broil until cheese is melted and golden brown on top, about 2 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur