There are many classic recipes specifically for onion dishes so they can be appreciated in their own right. But there is hardly a recipe where onions, or Alliums, are not used. Gently fried until soft, or fried more fiercely until golden, they add a unique, savoury flavour to dishes. Raw onions are a useful source of fibre, Vitamin C and folic acid.
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For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.
Preparing and Using
Onions, more than almost any other vegetable,keep well provided they are stored in a cool,dry place. Don’t store them in the fridge because they will go soft. Onions don’t keep well once they have been cut and will flavour any other foods close by. Unused segments of onions can be used to flavour soups and stocks.
As well as the outer brown leaves, remove the next layer of onion, as it is often dry or damaged. Unless slicing onions for stir-fries, for which it is customary to slice the onion into wedges, always slice the onion through the rings, widthways. Appliances such as a Robotcoupe processor or similar type of food preparation machine will make light work of chopping onions.
The volatile acids in onions are driven off during cooking, which is why cooked onion is never as strong as raw onion. The method of cooking used, even the way of frying an onion,affects its eventual taste. Boiled onion or chopped onion added neat to soups or casseroles has a strong, more raw taste.Frying or sautéing briefly, or sweating until soft and translucent gives a milder flavour. When fried until golden brown, onions develop a distinct flavour, both sweet and savoury, that is superb in curries and with grilled meats and is essential for French onion soup. Caramelised onion has a sweet warm taste.
Onions come in a variety of different colours and strengths, and for certain recipes,particular types of onion are needed. They are used in thousands of dishes all around the world and can be shallow-fried, deep-fried (in batter), braised, stuffed and baked, roasted,pickled, boiled, grilled, barbecued and eaten raw. For classic recipes such as onion tarts,French onion soup and sauce soubise, only onions are appropriate.
Onions are used in a mirepoix of vegetables to flavour soups, sauces and stocks. They can also be used to flavour breads, scones,savoury cakes and biscuits and pizza bases.They are used extensively in Indian cooking and are the basic ingredient in Balti sauces.Other Indian dishes such bhajis and pakoras are made with onion as a main ingredient.Onions can be added to mashed potato, used to flavour pilaff rice and a host of different salads. They can be grilled or barbecued on kebabs with meat or other vegetables.
For some Onion recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here
Delicious Burgers with Melted Cheese and Tomato Salsa
Three secrets to making the best burgers – top quality mince, the onions sautéed till golden brown and cooked ahead of time and a good splash of chilli oil in the mixture.