There Are So Many Ways to Cook Onions!
We all have our favorites, but who knew, there are so many ways to cook onions! Whether you are preparing them for now or prepping to store for later, the possibilities are endless. Here is a list of our go-to techniques; if you have a special onion recipe you’d like to share, we’d love to see it!
Nothing beats a grilled onion as a side, or to top some fish or meat. You can use a favorite grilling recipe, or simply put a peeled onion in foil with some butter, salt, pepper, and spices as desired. Cook on a grill, or in your oven until the onion is soft — about half an hour.
Ready-to-Cook Onion Rings
The best onion rings are those made with your own homegrown onions. You can easily freeze some rings now to fry later. To do so, follow these steps:
• Wash, peel, and slice the onions into rings.
• Blanch them in boiling water for 10-15 seconds.
• Cool, drain, and coat with onion ring batter.
• Arrange the rings in a single layer on a tray.
• Freeze them.
• Put them into containers or plastic bags, separating the layers of rings with plastic.
• Label the bags with the date and refreeze.
When you want to fry some, just thaw them and fry in 375-degree oil until golden brown.
The caramelization (browning) of onions turns their flavor sweet. We have very quick and easy recipes using caramelizing onions featured in our Recipe section. One of the easiest ways to cook onions, caramelized onions can be used in pasta dishes, to sweeten hummus — and even in desserts!
You can easily pickle some onions by mixing half a cup of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon and a half of salt, and one cup of water in a bowl, whisking the solid ingredients until they dissolve. Then thinly slice an onion, place the rings in a bowl, and cover them with the pickling mixture. They should last about two weeks in the refrigerator. Tuck them into sandwiches, use them as a condiment, or toss them into salads. Their crunchy texture and piquant flavor will perk up almost any dish.
Spicing Things Up
You can also turn some of your storage onions into a fine powder to add pizzazz to meals for months to come (sweet onions have too much water content to powder). First, peel and finely chop some onions and spread them on a cookie sheet. Heat them in an oven at 150 degrees, until they are dried and crumbly; this can take several hours. Alternately, you can use a food dehydrator. Either way, put the cooled pieces in a food processor, coffee grinder, or spice mill and grind to get them to a powdery consistency. Then store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can use it to spice up soups, stews, and dips. It makes a great rub for meats, too.
To prepare onions for freezing, peel the onions, rinse them under water, and blanch them until their centers are heated — about three minutes for small onions, and up to seven minutes for larger ones. If you choose to freeze the onions in pieces rather than whole, use the small-onion blanching time as a guide.
Drain and cool your blanched onions to room temperature. Arrange them on cookie sheets, and place them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, put them in plastic bags labeled with the date, and then back into the freezer.
Once frozen, onions aren’t recommended for eating raw because of their mushy consistency. However, they can be cooked in many delicious recipes. Caramelized onions can also be frozen in plastic zipper bags for later use if they’re not used right away.
There are so many ways to enjoy your onions, so cook some now and save some for later. Freeze them, make onion powder, pickle or caramelize them. Onions are so versatile — time to get slicing, drying, grilling, and frying!