Cooking With Vidalia Onions
Onions! In terms of looks and calories they may not seem like much, but you’d sure miss them if they were left out of many dishes (even if you’re not overly keen on onions). All onions pack wonderful flavor, but not all onions were created equal. The best onion variety depends on what you’re using it for: raw, baked, sauteed, etc. If you’re looking for an onion variety that’s versatile enough to do it all, sweet Vidalia onions (like Sweet Georgia Onions from Pittman & Davis) are the ones you want. Grown in Georgia, Vidalia Onions are known as America’s most popular sweet onion variety. They’re famously sweet flavor is due to them being lower in sulfur than most onion varieties, which means they’re the perfect choice for eating raw on sandwiches and burgers and less likely to irritate your eyes.
How to Prepare Sweet Onions for Cooking
Here’s the best way to prepare your Vidalia sweet onions prior to cooking or enjoying raw:
Leaving the root on, slice away the top of the onion, then remove the papery skin and any brown outer layers. To chop the onion, cut in half from top to bottom. Put the cut-side flat on the work surface, then make a series of cuts horizontally, then vertically, but without cutting through the root. Holding the onion very firmly, slice the onion (it should fall away in small pieces as you go). Continue cutting until you reach the root, which you can now discard.
To slice, trim the root off and a little off the base (to hold it steady on the chopping board), then cut away the slices moving from the root end towards the top. If desired, you can separate each slice into rings.
Ways to Use Sweet Onions
Here are just a few ways you can use these subtle, mild onions.
- Because they have much lower sulfur content than most other onions, the Vidalia won’t make you tear up when you chop them up on your cutting board. Using them in place of red onions in salads adds flavor without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
- As a mild onion, Sweet Onions are one of the few that can be sliced and added to sandwiches and burgers without being cooked. In fact, raw sweet onions can give any sandwich, whether hot or cold, a sweet zing.
- Sauteed. Of course, when you choose to heat them up, this unique sweet onion variety adds something special to any meat. When used as a topping or to create a gravy or sauce, Vidalias impart sweetness, texture, and flavor to any main dish.
- Want a dish that tastes like French onion soup but won’t take hours or make your kitchen a mess? Simply peel a large Vidalia and cut off the top and bottom so that it sits flat on the baking pan. Next, core the middle and add a tablespoon of butter inside. Baking the onion for around 45 minutes, or until tender, will produce a dish you can’t resist.
- While any onion can be caramelized, sweet onions are best for this common culinary task since they are much sweeter than most other varieties (and sweetness is what you’re going for when you caramelize onions).
Storing Sweet Onions
You probably are in the habit of storing your onions in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place, but while this works well for other onion varieties, Vidalia onions and other sweet onions last longer if you keep them in the fridge (this is due to their high sugar content, which causes them to go off sooner when stored at room temperature). Make sure they’re dry, then wrap them in foil before you put them away. If you have more than a few store them in a single layer, and keep them apart from your other veggies.
Pittman & Davis Sweet Onions Make a Great Gift
Check out Pittman & Davis’s own gourmet sweet onion offerings…they make a great gift for someone who loves to cook or grill. Get yourself a box while you’re at it!
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