Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining

Ingredient Spotlight: Onions

Onions

“It’s hard to imagine a civilization without onions.” — Julia Child.

Ms. Child couldn’t be more right!  Onions are in fact one of the oldest known cultivated vegetables.  In ancient Egypt the onion symbolized eternity because of its circle within a circle structure.  Egyptian leaders took an oath of office with their right hand on an onion.

During the American Civil War, slices of onion were often placed on open wounds in order to keep the wound “sterile”.

Know Your Onions

Onions, along with garlic, leek, chives, and shallots are part of the Lily, or Allium Family.  They are made up of layers that are concentric leaves called scales.  There are two divisions of glove onions — storage and fresh.  Storage onions are red, white, or yellow.  They contain a small amount of water, store well and are available all year long.  Fresh onions have a much higher water content and in some cases a higher sugar content as well.  These are considered ‘sweet onions’ and include the Videlia, Walla Walla, and Texas 1015s varieties.

When choosing onions, look for dry, firm, and a thin, shiny skin.  See that there are no sprouts emerging.  The outer skin should be papery and a bit loose.  Avoid onions with dark patches, soft spots, and black mold (usually found on white or red onions).

Store onions in a dry, cool, dark location.  Do not store onions under the skin or with potatoes.  Potatoes give off moisture that can cause onions to spoil.

And remember…

emotional bonding with onions

Below are some great dishes from Green Door Hospitality that include Onions.  Simply click on the image to be taken to recipe!

Baked French Onion Soup

Southwestern Corn Dip

Onion Marmalade

Beer and Bacon BBQ Sauce

Cucumber Salad

Dijon Mustard

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

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28 comments on “Ingredient Spotlight: Onions

  1. baileyboatcat
    October 15, 2013

    Emotional bond! Hehehe! Pawesome! =^.^=

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 15, 2013

      Hehehe — that’s why I always try to be aloof with my onions, less crying that way. 😉

  2. erika
    October 15, 2013

    Ooh this was so interesting. I always store my onions in the fridge crisper…often with sweet potatoes, which must be why my last few have gone bad so quickly! Great onion tips! 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 15, 2013

      Thanks Erika! Yeah, I used to store mine in the fridge with other things too and was finding them going bad much quicker as well.
      Kenley

  3. Alicia Jay (@aliciajaybird)
    October 15, 2013

    I cry every single time! I’ve tried every tip anyone has suggested, and it doesn’t matter. I now try to cook only when I’m not wearing mascara. 😉 Onions are one of my favorite ingredients and I love seeing their praises sung here!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 16, 2013

      Thanks Alicia! And yes — never with mascara! 🙂 I’ve even tried adding sunglasses before.

  4. Cloches & Lavender
    October 15, 2013

    Great tips Kenley. I tend to use shallots more then onions but they still kill my eyes. They are less harsh for my husband.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 16, 2013

      Thanks Cynthia! Yeah…I get burned by shallots as well! Good plan having your husband chop them! 🙂
      Kenley

  5. Garden Walk Garden Talk
    October 15, 2013

    I agree with Julia and you. I use onions in so many recipes, one of which you showed as a favorite, onion soup. Yum. They can be made so many ways, very versatile.

  6. tinywhitecottage
    October 15, 2013

    Love this post! I probably use 4 or 5 onions a week. I love all colors and varietals.

  7. Time With Thea
    October 15, 2013

    How informative! I had no idea! I use onions a lot. They just seem to belong in recipes. I so chuckled with your little bit of humour. Hope all is well and i hope puppy is keeping you busy! ~Thea

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 16, 2013

      Thanks Thea! Glad you enjoyed!
      And yes, puppy is still keeping us quite busy — though finally settling down enough for me to blog more often again! 🙂
      Kenley

  8. gentlestitches
    October 16, 2013

    I used to store my onions with my potatoes, but not any more! Interesting how many types there are.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 16, 2013

      Isn’t it though! I was so surprised when I was doing the research for this post! 🙂
      Kenley

  9. Kalamity Kelli
    October 16, 2013

    My husband says I love onions more than anyone he has ever knows…….I grew up with tons of them in the garden so we used them – lots of them. Thanks for all the onion-y info! 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      October 16, 2013

      You’re quite welcome, Kelli! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed –and that you enjoy onions. 😉
      Kenley

  10. Jo
    October 16, 2013

    Love onions. Some great tips here. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  11. Fae's Twist & Tango
    October 16, 2013

    – I totally agree with Julia Child.
    – No cooking is perfect without onion… and I love my stored caramelized onions.
    – Sharper the knife, the less onion irritation to the eyes. “oo”

  12. leaner by the lake
    October 17, 2013

    Never knew the storage tip to store away from potatoes!

  13. the Painted Apron
    October 17, 2013

    Never knew not to store onions with potatoes! Thank you!
    Jenna

  14. Pingback: Week In Review: Party Planning, Apples, and Monty Python | Green Door Hospitality

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