Red onions have a mild to sweet flavor, an attractive colour, and tend to be medium to large in size. With purplish red skin and white flesh tinged with red, they are very different than Spanish onions, which have yellow skins.
HOW TO CHOOSE
Red onions are available throughout the year.
Choose firm and tight, shiny, dry, mild smelling onions without green sprouts.
Store separately in a dark, cool, airy place – placed in a basket provides good air circulation.
- If your onion sprouts, it still may be usable. Remove the green part out, checking to see if it is still firm and not mushy.
- If only a partial onion is used, place the leftover pieces in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Cut the neck and base away, score down the side of the onion, and remove the skin – the first layer of flesh. To avoid tears during preparation, chill the onion first for 30 minutes and always remove the root end last. It contains the largest concentration of sulphuric components that make eyes water.
Eaten both for its flavour and ability to enhance the flavour of other foods. There are some wonderful ways to enjoy red onions.
Quick & Easy Suggestions:
- Often used for fresh uses, like being added for color to salads. Combine with tomatoes and red leaf lettuce for a colourful salad
- Include in homemade chutneys to serve with cheese and cold meats.
- Use a garnish
- Can be used in salads and sandwiches because they are sweeter than and not as sharp as yellow onions.
- Raw onions, particularly sweet onions and red onions, are great in salads or over a bagel with cream cheese, nova or lox.
- Lightly cooked and used as the base to any dish with some olive oil or coconut oil and maybe some crushed or minced garlic
- A good choice for grilling and charbroiling
- Try them quartered and roasted in olive oil
- Serve whole or sliced, grilled, baked, or deep fried
- Excellent stuffed as an appetizer, side dish or entree
- Add to stir-fries, sautés, and sauces
- A great meat alternative in a sandwich or entree
With the same antioxidants the make the purple colour of blueberries, this nutrient is much more abundant in red onions than the yellow or white varieties. The all share, however, the two predominant health benefits of onions are sulfur (a compound) and quercetin (a flavonoid). Like garlic , the lily family, including onions (except scallions) contain rich in powerful sulfur-containing compounds that provide for their pungent aromas and many health-promoting effects. The sulphur deters pathogens and therefore these protect against cancer.
One-half cup of raw onion has 30 calories; one-half cup of boiled has 45. Onions also contain generous amounts of Vitamin B6, B1& C, as well as folic acid.
- Related to garlic, leeks, shallots, scallions, and chives, onions belong to the pungent Allium genus of the lily family.
- With a structure of layers within layers that form a sphere, history records the onion as being considered a symbol of eternity and as valuable as gold in the Middle Ages.
- In the 6th century BC, the Indians spoke of the value of onions as medicine, citing them as diuretics and good for digestion, the heart, eyes and joints. The Romans also enjoyed onions, often carrying them with them on journeys. In fact, during this Middle Ages period, onions were used for everything from snakebite cures to rent payments.
- The Pilgrims carried onions to North America, only to find that the Native Americans already had their own wild onions.