Onions and their cousins, shallots and green onions or scallions, are widely available all year round. Choose ones that are clean and firm with no soft or moldy spots. Avoid sprouting onions or any dampness. When choosing scallions, look for those with green, fresh looking tops with a whitish base. Avoid any that look wilted, brown or yellow at the tips.
Onions and potatoes, while delicious combined in foods, are not storage friends. The moisture and ethylene gas from the spuds will cause them to spoil more quickly. Keep them separate. Onions should be kept in a well ventilated dark place. Scallions should be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the fridge.
If cutting an onion makes your eyes water like fountains, try chilling it for an hour or so before chopping to slow the enzyme activity. Allow the chopped onion to come to room temperature and rest after cutting to promote the beneficial enzyme activity before cooking.
Three Ways to Enjoy Onions
- Onions make a welcome addition to almost any cooked dish including soups, stews and casseroles.
- Onions are a pungent addition to salads. Use red onions for color and a polyphenol boost.
- Grilled or roasted onions are a delicious change. Brush lightly with extra virgin olive oil before cooking.