Vegetable Spotlight: Onions
Onions come in various colors and types—yellow, red, white, sweet, and spring—and are one of the most versatile ingredients to have on hand. Available all year round, you can throw red or spring onions on top of a salad in the summer, or sauté a yellow onion for a soup base in the winter. They are staples in stuffings, salsas, stir-frys, and more. They help bring out the other flavors of a dish, adding another dimension to the taste.
How to Prepare
First, rinse off any residual dirt that may be sticking to the bulb. Then slice off the top of the onion and peel off the outer layer of skin. To slice the onion into strips, trim off the root and place the cut side down on the cutting board. Slice vertically. To cut the rings, do the same but instead of placing the cut side down, slice off a side of the onion and place that facedown, cutting slices from top to root.To dice the onion, cut it in half and make sure the cut side is then facedown on the cutting board. Make a few horizontal cuts towards the root, not slicing all the way through. Do the same with vertical cuts perpendicular to the root. Then, hold the onion at the root and slice vertically, working from the top of the onion to the root. The chunks should separate.
Onions can be eaten raw or cooked. Red onions are milder and therefore best for raw consumption. It is best to use an onion right away after chopping.
Onions are best kept dry and whole until you are ready to use them. Keep them in a cool, dry place; they should last for 2-3 months. One tip for extending their shelf life if you find them going bad sooner is to keep them in paper bags that allow for just enough air circulation. Punch the paper bags with holes, place the onions inside, and fold down the top of the bag, securing with a paperclip. Once chopped, onions will keep for a few days sealed in an airtight container.