Market Fresh: Onions

I use onions almost every day. They start my soups and sauces, they top my pizzas or potatoes, and they find their way into salads, too. They offer fantastic  flavor and can change a dish just by their addition.

They grow underground and there are a variety of types. Red, yellow, and white are quite common as well as green onions, sweet onions, vidalia and others.

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

1 Tb. butter
1 lg. onion, sliced in thin rings

Melt butter in a saute pan over medium-low to medium heat. Add onions. Let cook stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes or until onions are brown and caramelized.

Delicious on pizza, bread, baked potatoes, salads, steaks, burgers, and more. The above is a carmalized onion and portabella mushroom pizza – yum!

FRENCH ONION SOUP
(Better Homes & Gardens)

2 Tb. butter
2 c. Onion, thinly sliced
4 c. beef broth
2 Tb. dry sherry or white wine
1 tsp. worcestshire sauce
dash pepper
6 slices French Bread
3/4 c. shredded cheese (swiss, jarlsburg, or gruyere)

In a lg. saucepan, melt butter. Stir in onions. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or till tender and golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in beef broth, dry sherry or wine, worcestshire sauce, and pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanshile, sprinkle toasted bread with shredded cheese, Place bread under broiler till cheese melts and turns light brown. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and float bread atop. Makes about 4 1/2 c.

I thought this could use a little thyme or parsley to brighten it. My friend, Amy, sent me this recipe that she says her family loves!

This was a delicious salad! You could add feta, nuts, chicken, or other toppings would be wonderful!

BALSAMIC ONION SALAD
(very slightly adapted from Ina Garten)

3 sm. red onions
1/4 c. plus 2 Tb. good balsamic vinegar, divided
1 c. good olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 Tb. minced shallots (about 2 large)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. good red wine vinegar
2 heads red-leaf, green-leaf, or mixed greens washed, spun dry, and torn into pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the onions in 1/2 and slice 1/4-in. thick, place on a baking sheet and toss with: 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.

Bake for 12 to 15 min., until the onions are tender. (This took a little longer for me – around 20-25 min. but I may have cut them larger.)

Remove from oven and toss with 2 more tablespoons balsamic vinegar and cool to room temperature. (They were still a little warm and I liked that!)

Whisk together the shallots, mustard, red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. While whisking, add 3/4 c. olive oil until emulsified.

To assemble, toss enough lettuce for 6 people with dressing, to taste. Place the lettuce on 6 plates and arrange the onions on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

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6 responses

  1. First of all, I love onions! They go in just about everything around. Jeremy even likes them raw…I’m not such a fan.
    Second of all, tears from onions are sometimes lessened if you don’t cut off the bottom. Cut the top off, peal the onion, make cuts longways all around the onion (going about halfway thru), hold entire onion and cut from top down and you’ll have little chunks and you’re left with the bottom intact and mostly tear-free! (Okay, that might have been a confusing instructional…hope some understood it. It makes chopping onions quite quick and mostly painless!)
    Third of all, the caramelized onion photo kind of looks like long worms which makes me smile. 🙂

  2. Hey Sarah – I don’t have any great suggestions except using a very sharp knife. Wearing contacts usually saves me from the tears. I have never tried cutting it under water.

    Tinky – I will definitely have to give the red wine a try!

  3. On the cutting question, here are two methods I have heard about but not tried (maybe Sarah will!):

    1. Cut the onion under running water.

    2. Hold a piece of bread in your mouth while cutting.

    There’s also a really cute-looking product called the Onion Goggle (or maybe Goggles) I’m too cheap to try; I’ve been told by a friend that it works!

    I usually just put on the mascara AFTER I cut the onions……..

  4. I love onions as well, but do you have any recommendations for chopping them? I suppose knife technique is another post, but they always make me cry. Cutting frozen onions or under water (as I’ve heard) doesn’t seem safe.

  5. Lovely recipes and photos! I usually make my onion soup with RED wine, which I highly recommend; it gives the soup additional depth of flavor……….

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