The sections below were copied with permission from Mi Ae Lipe’s Tastes from the Valley to Bluff: The Featherstone Farm Cookbook (2008).
Cured onions can be kept in a wire hanging basket or a perforated container with a raised base so air can circulate freely underneath. They keep best in an area like a basement, root cellar, or other place with proper cool temperature and lack of humidity.
Avoid storing onions next potatoes, which emit ethylene gas and moisture, which can cause the onions to spoil more quickly. Also avoid storing them with apples, celery, and pears, as onions will absorb their odors.
Cut onions should be wrapped very tightly (aluminum foil is quite effective) or kept in an airtight container and used within a couple of days, as they oxidize quickly and tend to lose flavor and nutrients.
Scallions should be stored wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable crisper, where they will keep for up to 1 week.
Complementary Herbs, Seasonings, & Foods
Apples, bacon, basil, beef, butter, cheese, chiles, cinnamon, cloves, cream, cucumbers, garlic, Mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, nutmeg, olive oil, paprika, Parmesan cheese, parsley, pepper, poultry, raisins, rice, sesame, sherry, soy sauce, taco mix, thyme, tomatoes, vegetables, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce.
• Try an unusual and tasty "coleslaw" made with thinly sliced red onion, fennel, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing.
• Try the quintessential Italian summer salad: vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced onion rings, cucumber slices, and mozzarella cheese, drizzled with olive oil, chopped fresh basil, and freshly ground sea salt and pepper.
• The French slow-simmer very thinly sliced onions in butter and red wine to create a confit that is tasty with beef, pork, and lamb dishes.
• Chopped onions add flavor to just about any vegetable or side dish you can imagine.
• Make French onion soup. (Be sure to use a high-quality beef broth and cheese, or the soup may disappoint.)
• A simple but delicious lunch or snack idea: Roll up thinly sliced onions inside a slice of deli honey ham or honey turkey, along with a sprig of fresh herbs, if desired, like basil or dill. This is a delicious, nutritious treat that especially appeals to kids, especially if the onions are the sweet, mild kind, like Vidalias or Walla Wallas.
• Plain rice can be a delicious treat with a generous sprinkling of chopped scallions and sesame seeds.
Cook out of the Box - Tried and True: Salsas
Stuffed and Baked Sweet Onions (serves 4)
4 green bell peppers
4 medium-sized sweet onions
12 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons chopped basil, fresh or dried
2 tablespoons chopped thyme, fresh or dried
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. When the oven is ready, place the bell peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and with the oven door partially open, broil them 5 inches from the heat source for 5 minutes, or until their skins blister. Remove the peppers and let them cool slightly. Place them in a bag, close it, and let them stand 10 minutes to loosen their skins. Peel, seed, and chop them. Set them aside.
3. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each onion, forming a base for the onions to stand on. Remove the onion centers, leaving 1/2-inch-thick shells. Reserve the centers for other uses.
4. Stir together the bell peppers, tomatoes, capers, basil, thyme, vinegar, salt, and pepper; spoon the mixture into the onion shells.
5. Place the onions in a baking dish and bake, covered, at 400°F for 50 minutes. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
Source: Barbara Hunt, mother of Featherstone Farm CSA member Margaret Trott
Cut in half and thinly slice about two pounds onions. (Note: each half pound of sliced onions should yield about 1/3 cup of caramelized onion.) Saute over low to moderate heat in a heavy skillet with 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter. You might want to cover the onions for the first fifteen minutes or so. Be patient. It will take about an hour for the onions to turn the rich brown color that will tell you they are caramelized. Stir every ten minutes or so. If the process is going way to slowly for you, then turn up the heat a little. Just don't get too impatient or you will burn the onions and then you will be sorry.
For pizza, spread onions on your favorite homemade or purchased crust. Crust should be fairly thin. Add goat cheese or other favorite cheese. Add some herbs - you could use basil, parsley or chives or all three. Thyme would also be good with onions. A little chopped cooked bacon or ham would be nice - but I wouldn't overdo it. The onions are the star here. Bake in a hot oven just until crust is done and topping is bubbling.
Credit: Cook out of the Box 2010 - Week 10