Monday, June 11, 2007
Who would ever of thought a pungent looking grass cultivated by the ancient Egyptians would be come the foundation of virtually ever pot the world around. Yes, the humble onion seems to find itself at home no matter where it is found. And, like its cousin, garlic, the entire plant can be used – though we are more commonly offered either is subterranean, multi-layer bulb or its milder relation the scallion (also referred to as spring onion or green onion) which is a non-bulbing variety.
Almost every cuisine uses this odorous vegetable as a pantry staple and, allows so many dishes to stand on its shoulders. Eaten raw they are biting and aggressive; gently cooked they marry quickly to anything that is added to them; caramelized and they produce a rich depth to the final outcome.
Right now in the market many onions will still have its green leaves attached – don’t throw them away. Use them first, storing the bottom for another day. Scallions should be stored under refrigeration wrapped in a damp paper towel for about a week.
Braised Onions yields 4 servings
2 pints small onions or pearl onions
3 whole grlic cloves - skin removed
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 pint strawberry - pureed and strained of seeds
1/2 cup water
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cut tops of the onions off, and in boiling water blanch the onions for 3 minutes. Drain, and cool slightly then holding the onions pop them out of there skins. This is an easier way to peel the onions then the tedious work of peeling raw peal onions.
In an eight inch saute pan heat the vinegar to a boil, and add the onions and the garlic. Return to a boil, and add the strawberry puree, water, salt and black pepper. Simmer the onions for 45minutes with the lid askew. Add additional water if the braising liquid gets too dry.