When you shop for fresh onions, you’re bound to find a few varieties. That’s because onions are classified as either spring/summer or fall/winter. They are considered either “green” or “dry.” Green onions, such as scallions, are harvested while the shoots are young, tender and green. Dry onions can be red (or purple), white or yellow; they are harvested once their shoots have died and they’ve formed their paper-like skin. Even a shallot is a dry onion of the fall/winter variety. The spring/summer varieties of dry onions, such as Vidalia, Maui or Walla Walla, are sweeter and they don’t keep as long as other dry varieties.Fresh onions aren’t your only option. You’ll find dehydrated, powdered, granulated and mixed-dried blends that all can add depth of flavor to many dishes.Here are some favorite ways to use onions:
Chop spring onions, such as scallions, and use them as a garnish for soups, stews, quiche, potatoes, grain dishes and chili. Here’s an idea for Fast Udon Soup with Tofu and Spinach opens in a new tab.
Add chopped spring onions to salsa. Try this Fresh Pineapple Salsa opens in a new tab.
Add green onions or thinly sliced red onions to green salads or grain salads. Try this recipe for Wild Rice Salad with Pecans opens in a new tab and Cranberries or in this Barley Salad with Fresh Mint opens in a new tab.
Caramelize yellow or sweet onions; use them as a garnish for meat dishes or grain dishes. Or use them with recipes like this dish for Lentils, Brown Rice and Caramelized Onions opens in a new tab or this one for Almond Crusted Salmon with Caramelized Onions opens in a new tab.
All onions combine perfectly with lentils, peas and beans. I love this recipe for Red Lentils with Garlic and Onions opens in a new tab.
Be sure to include onions in your favorite appetizers. Here is a delicious Swiss Cheese Onion Crostini opens in a new tab.
Scramble eggs with minced onions.
Firing up the grill? Throw some onions on along with whatever else you are cooking. Here’s a Korean-Style Steak with Grilled Vegetables opens in a new tab.
Add onions to roasting pans of chicken, beef or tofu. Here’s a Peruvian-Style Roasted Chicken with Sweet Onions opens in a new tab.
Oven-roast onions and puree them for dips, hummus and spreads. To roast onions, peel and thickly slice a red, white or yellow onion. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400°F until onions are soft and golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes.
What’s your take on onions? Love ‘em, hate ‘em? Mixed feelings? Got a favorite recipe? Let me know!