Look to Onions for Layers of Flavors

The humble onion is a root vegetable that can be used in so many ways.  If you planted early, you may have some spring onions you can use in the recipes below. The main idea is to have enough onion in the recipe for a rich, dimensional flavor. Note that most of these are cooked for a fairly long time—it’s the long cooking time that brings out the natural sweetness and delicious flavor of onions.From My Family Recipe Box

Onion SoupFrom My Family Recipe Box
My Aunt Lillian’s Onion Soup has always been solid part of family gatherings from my childhood memories. (This recipe originally appeared in “From My Family – Recipe Box” available at Lehman’s, although we’ve added our own family touches through the years.)

2 pounds Spanish yellow onions, sliced thin
4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1½ teaspoon flour
2 cup water
6 Tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
8 cups beef broth
1 cup chicken broth
16 slices of bread – crusty French or Italian
2 Tablespoons butter, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups grated Gruyere cheese – Swiss cheese can be substituted

In a cast iron Dutch oven or heavy flat bottomed pan, sauté onions in butter and olive oil until translucent and reduce to low.  Cover and cook until onions are brown. Add broths, flour, water, stirring or whisking rapidly until flour is dissolved. Cover and simmer on low 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions will cook down and dissolve.

Toward the end of the soup’s cooking time, preheat broiler. Whip butter and garlic together until well mixed. Spread on bread. Place bread on cookie sheets and toast to golden brown under the broiler. Remove from oven and set aside.

Change oven setting to 450°. Place serving bowls on cookie sheets and fill ¾ full with soup. Float 2 bread toasts per bowl, adding cheese on top of bread. Carefully place bowls in heated oven until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serves 8.

Oven Roasted Onion
Onions can be roasted with garlic and other vegetables to bring out their natural sweetness. You can find this recipe (and more roasted veggie recipes) in “From My Family – Recipe Box” available at Lehman’s.

4 Large sweet onions – skins on
4 Tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350°

Cut the flower (pointy) end off each onion to expose the inside. Place each onion in aluminum foil and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt if desired.

Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until onion is browned. Onions will be soft enough to squeeze from the skins! Especially tasty when served hot with crackers or toasted, buttered Italian bread.

Have you ever checked out the onion recipies on www.onions.org? They have thousands, and I think this one is one of the best. If you can’t have fried onion rings, and crave them, this recipe will help you cure your cravings.

Baked Onion Rings

1 ½ cup of crushed corn flakes
2 teaspoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of paprika
¼ teaspoon of seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
2 large sweet onions
Egg substitute, equivalent to 2 eggs
Nonfat cooking spray

In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn flakes, sugar, paprika, salt and garlic powder. Set aside.

Cut the onions into half-inch thick slices.

Separate into rings, saving small rings for another use.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg substitute until it is frothy.

Dip the onion rings into egg, then into the crumb mixture, coating thoroughly.

Place in a single layer on baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonfat cooking spray.

Bake at 375° for about 18 minutes or until the onions are tender and coating is crispy

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.