A world without French onion soup would be a sad place indeed. Onions are used in almost every type of cuisine and can be found grilled, sautéed, fried and pickled in dishes all around the world. This versatile vegetable is a cheap, easy and flavorful addition to many savory meals and a kitchen staple for cooks of all levels of expertise.
When a recipe calls for an onion, it usually means a standard yellow onion. All-purpose and most popular, yellow onions are characterized by a papery yellow-brown skin and a white flesh. Their balanced flavor, neither too sharp nor too sweet, makes them a versatile and tasty addition to almost any dish.
Spanish onions are a particular kind of yellow onion that tend to be larger and slightly sweeter.
Similar to yellow onions in flavor but not as sharp, red onions are characterized by a purplish-red papery skin and a pinkish-white flesh. They are most commonly used in non-cooked dishes, such as salads, salsas and sandwiches because of their vibrant color and relatively mild, sweet flavor.
Characterized by a papery white skin and an all-white flesh, white onions have a sharper and more pungent flavor than yellow ones. They can be cooked just like yellow onions, but can also be minced and added raw to salsas. White onions are also particularly common in Mexican cuisine.
Green onions are typically referred to as scallions. Unlike yellow, red and white onions (known as dry onions), scallions are harvested while their shoots are still young and green. Their pleasantly mild flavor makes them perfect for topping salads and soups, or as a tasty garnish on dishes like stir-fry.
Time: 35 minutes
1 large yellow onion
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Julienne onion and add it to pan with olive oil. Season with salt.
2. Cook over low heat until onion slices are golden brown and soft, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Tips and Tricks
1. Cut onions as close to cooking or serving time as possible, as their flavor
weakens over time.
2. High heat makes onions bitter, so when sautéing or grilling onions, always use low or medium heat.
3. When buying onions, avoid soft onions or ones that have a sharp odor before peeling—these are indications that the onion is old.
Learn the Cuts
Perfect for sandwiches and burgers.
Since the size of julienned onions is relatively consistent, they will cook
more evenly than sliced onions, making them a better choice for sautéing, stir-frying and caramelizing.
Good for salads and soups.
Best as a garnish, or to flavor dips, spreads, salsas and chutneys.
Don’t Cry For Me
There’s no guarantee that these old wives’ tales will do you any good in avoiding onion-induced tears, but what’s the harm in trying?
1. Hold a slice of white bread between your teeth.
2. Wipe down your knife with lemon juice or vinegar before cutting.
3. Chew gum while cutting.
4. Keep a mouthful of water while you cut.
5. Cut the onion under running water.
6. Refrigerate the onion before cutting.
7. Put a metal spoon or other utensil in your mouth while cutting.
8. Cut the onion next to an open flame.
9. Hold unlit matches between your teeth (sulphur side facing out).
10. Wear safety goggles.