From the Latin "unio"
An edible plant grown for its bulb.
Straw-colored Strasbourg onions, red onions, white onions, rosé onions from Roscoff, Vidalia onions, new onions and milder-flavoured onions that impart a more discreet note to a dish… Large Spanish onions as wide as a saucer… No matter what the variety, the onion has ingratiated itself into the cooking of every country. Onions were even found carved on the tomb of Tutankhamen.
Nutritional values per 100 g
Calories: 28-36; Carbohydrates: 7 g; Fat: trace; Protein: 1 g.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid, sulfur, potassium, calcium and selenium.
The bulb should be firm and dry with no sprouting, and a shiny peel.
White onions should have straight stalks that are green and not softened.
Bunches of fresh onions will keep for a week in the crisper of the refrigerator. Dry yellow onions should be kept in a dry place and away from light. They will then keep for several months. They can be frozen if first blanched for 5 minutes.
When cut, onions release a sulfuric substance which is irritating to the eyes. To avoid this problem, some suggest a piece of bread between the teeth, or a knife, or a half-burned match… Though there are many methods, two are tried and true: refrigerate the onion for an hour or place it in the freezer for 15 minutes to reduce the volatility of the irritant, or peel it under running water.
The flavour of a peeled, chopped raw onion is completely unlike that of one baked whole in its skin. In the oven the onion develops its full range of aromas and flavours. Though fried onions have their fans and are used in many dishes, it is best to sweat the onion in fat or oil without letting it colour until it becomes translucent before adding it to a dish.
- Onion confit made with red wine and sugar, to accompany a terrine.
- Country-style - stuffed like a pepper and cooked slowly in a casserole with tomato sauce.
- Simmered for a long time in bouillon with a meaty beef marrow bone.
- In braised dishes, place the cut of meat on a layer of onions to prevent it from sticking and to give it additional flavour.
- Onion rings sliced on a mandolin, dipped in milk, coated in flour and fried can garnish a cucumber or lettuce salad.
France - What would France be without onion soup gratinéed with lots of cheese - or pissaladière, a base of dough covered with slowly cooked onions, anchovies and olives, or Alsacian onion tart, a quiche generously filled with onions which have been cooked in butter with a little nutmeg.
Algeria - onion omelette - Slowly cook onions in oil with fennel seeds and a handful of fresh mint (do not let them brown). Mix into beaten eggs and cook as usual.
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