Ingredient: Onion

» Jump to recipes using Onion as an ingredient

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  • Description

Onions are often called the “workhorse of the kitchen” because of their use in an abundance of recipes.  Onions have a dry papery outside that is removed and discarded.  The flesh of an onion should be firm without bruising.

  • Preparation

Remove the papery outer layers as well as the stem and root ends.  Onions can be used both cooked and raw.  Onions can be sauted, baked, roasted, stewed, pickled, caramelized (to bring out their sweetness, see below), and just about any other preparation you can imagine, they are after all, the workhorse.

  • Varieties

Varieties of onions include but are not limited to: yellow, red (sweeter and a bit milder), pearl, white, Spanish, Cipollini and sweet onions.

Fresh onions- fresh onions are harvested in spring and summer.  They have a papery layer of skin, the have a milder flavor and they are high in moisture.  Use these quickly, they are not onions meant for storage

Storage onions- Storage onions are harvested in cooler weather.  The have several thick layers of skin, a pungent flavor and a lower moisture content.

Other members of the onion family include: green onions, garlic scapes, garlic, leeks, and shallots.

  • Storage

Store onions in a cool, dry, dark place with lots of air to circulate around them.  Onions will rot quickly if they cannot breathe.  Storage onions can last months, while fresh onions can last up to 30 days.  (Jess keeps hers in a bin near her counter, unless cut, then they go in the fridge).  Do NOT store your onions with your potatoes, the gasses from the onion can cause the potato to sprout faster.

  • Nutrition

Onions contain vitamins B6 and C


How to Caramelize Onions – Originally posted by Sarah – January 20, 2015image

Cook it slowly til it’s brown and sweet…..

That’s right my Springdell friends, today we caramelize.  Adding heat to fruit and veggies brings out the natural sugars and carbohydrates within and the browning of those sugars is called caramelization.  They become a beautiful deep brown with a sweet taste to them.  The key to this is that they take time.  You can’t rush, you can’t take shortcuts to get that beauty.  Trust me, it’s worth it.

People often think caramelization and they think onions.  Well, the onion family loves to be deep brown in color and nutty in flavor (as well as fill your house with the Rolls-Royce of aromas).  I happen to have a surplus of onions from my Springdell winter share so let’s begin.  Start by slicing your onions about 1/8 inch think, or thicker if you like.  Some people think the thinner the better, but that’s not the case here.  Giving a slightly thicker cut will prevent your onions from drying out, they have a long cook they need to hold up for.  You are not going for mushy onions are you?

imageYou should add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan when you toss the onions in.  People love the buttery taste and texture but don’t add any butter at this point.  Butter has a higher burning point, so we will add some a bit later.

image Your burner should be on as low as possible and let them go, stirring every few minutes.

imageDon’t crank the heat up to try and speed up the process, it doesn’t work like that.  Be patient, this process takes 40-60 minutes, sometimes longer!  You can add a bit more oil if they start to stick.


 At about this point you can add a dab of butter.  You should have a nice brown build up on the bottom of the pan, that’s a good thing, a very good thing.  Flavor is building up on the bottom, this is called fond.  Add a touch of red wine to the pan scrape up the bits into your yummy mixture, this is called deglazing the pan. It makes any dish more flavorful!


There you have it, caramelized onions.  Our favorite uses are on baked potatoes, sandwiches or on top of a nicely seared steak.


Recipes Using Onion

Butternut Squash Risotto

Submitted by fellow Springdellian Kathleen Spaeth, this scrumptious dish can work as a side or a main, depending on how you want to dress it up. Be sure to read through and prep your ingredients before beginning, as it’s one that needs a bit of well-spent attention during the cooking process. Enjoy!

Grandma’s Corn Chowder

A Springdell Farm recipe from Farmer Jamie! Bacon ends are a perfect item for making chowder…especially for those of you who have some corn in the freezer from your summer share.

Baingan Bharta

Baingan Bharta is a dish that involves grilled and mashed eggplant with yummy spices. You can choose the spice level that works for you by varying the amount of hot peppers used, and whether or not you choose to include the seeds. If you’re short on time, grill the eggplant ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook up the rest of the dish. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, I found this dish is even more delicious the next day. Thanks to NYT Cooking for this adaptation, who adapted it from chef Julie Sahni!

Cabbage Roll Casserole

Nan’s famous cabbage roll recipe with a few tweaks for modern day convenience. Adapted from the “Taste of Home” magazine, this one fuses lasagna with galumpkis in a satisfying way! The non-cabbage lovers in my household can’t resist it… A can of Campbells tomato soup is one of Nan’s secret ingredients, and doesn’t live on the “Staples” list in Veggiescope so you’ll have to make a trip to the grocery store, but I’m willing to bet it’s good without it, too.

Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

This recipe has many flexible ingredients, what you put in as a filling is up to you! A mandolin slicer is great for slicing the sweet potatoes evenly, making for a tastier crust.

Winter Root Vegetable Chili

A great comfort food to get you through the winter doldrums (or a depressing Superbowl). This is a very flexible recipe.  Turnips, small diced sweet potatoes, and carrots would also work as your primary veggies.  Substitute the beef for ground pork, chicken, goat (chorizo!), turkey or tofu (though I’d recommend adding the latter about 30 minutes from the end of cook time).  As always, make it your own!

Cube Steaks with Gravy

This is a lovely way to prepare cube steak, a true “meat and potatoes” meal, and the final product is so tender and delicious. The mushrooms and onions in the gravy are optional but highly recommended. Roasted acorn squash and mashed potatoes make great set of sides for this one.

Lacos (aka Lettuce Tacos)

Lacos, or “lettuce tacos” can be an easy way to go gluten-free or paleo with your dinner. It’s also fun and delicious, the ingredients are very flexible, it’s more of a concept than a recipe… Next time you get that big leafy lettuce in your garden or your CSA, consider if it’ll make a nice alternative to a tortilla, and if so, prepare your taco ingredients!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Deliciousness

This is a very flexible recipe, wonderful with charred poblanos or jalapeños, add some ground beef for an even heartier version. Tomatillos also work, but can be left out as well. With the base of the squash and the black bean, the rest is pretty negotiable depending on what you have on-hand to work with. Make it your own and enjoy!

Tomato and Cabbage Tabbouleh

This one is from Bon Apetít and was quite a lovely use for those ripe red tomatoes and head of cabbage. It’s a seasonal trifecta as the mint in the PYO herb garden is usually at peak just as these ingredients are rolling through the share boxes. It can be adjusted easily for gluten free or paleo diets.