Distinctive sweetness according to variety Season - Peaks in spring through summer and fall

Selection - Varieties include red, white, yellow, pearl, Bermuda, Spanish, Vidalia, and green onion (scallions).

Choose firm, tightly closed with dry, papery skins Avoid those with soft spots, dark mold on skin, and green sprouts

Flavor complements - Garlic, thyme, sage, mushrooms, celery, greens, tomatoes, potatoes, cheese

Storage - Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location for several months.

Preparation for cooking - Cut off the top and peel the outer layers leaving the root end intact. Cut in half lengthwise. Lay the onion cut side on the cutting board and slice, chop, dice, grate, or cut into wedges.

Quick fixes - Sauté 2 sliced onions in 1 T olive oil over low-medium heat, covered, for 15 minutes until soft and golden brown. Add ¼ teaspoon thyme, ¼ tsp rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste. Use as a topping for fish, potatoes, or burgers.

Onion Soup

8 servings, Prep 5 min, Cook 25 min

1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
5 medium onions, thinly sliced
7 cups broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add broth, salt and pepper, and simmer 15 minutes until onions are cooked.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on the bread and heat under broiler.
  4. Ladle soup in bowls and top with the toasted bread.

Note: Soup eaten before a meal can help curb your appetite, reducing your main course portion size

Per ½ cup serving (made with vegetable broth): 60 calories, 1g protein, 10g carbohydrate, 2g fat, 1g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 340mg sodium, 0% Daily Value* Vitamin A, 8% Vitamin C, 2% Calcium, 1% Iron. *Based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Fun to Know

Onions should be stored at room temperature, away from bright light, and in a manner where they are well ventilated. To do this, either place them in a wire hanging basket or a perforated bowl with a raised base so that air can circulate underneath. Those that are more pungent in flavor, such as yellow onions, can stay longer than those with a sweeter taste, such as white onions, since the compounds that confer their sharp taste help to preserve them.

If cutting onions irritates your eyes, there are a few tricks that you can try. Chill the onions for an hour or so before cutting. This will slow the activity of the compound that causes the eyes to burn and is a better alternative to the traditional method of cutting onion under running water. This latter process may dilute the amount of the compound which, while it may be irritating to the eyes, is actually one of the phytonutrients most responsible for onions significant health benefits.

Use a very sharp knife and always cut the onions while standing; that way your eyes will be as far away as possible. If cutting onions really makes you cry, consider wearing glasses or goggles.

Nutritional Profile: Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, chromium and dietary fiber. They are also a good source of manganese, molybdenum, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, phosphorus and copper.

Sources:
www.whfoods.com
Archibald, A Faughey, E. The Produce Partner. Food Fan Guides, 2005.