Fiji won the Olympic Gold for Rugby. “Fiji. Who knew they even played sports in Fiji?” If you were a Rugby fan, this would be no surprise. And so it goes for the onion, its power in The Vegetable Nutrition Games is unknown except among a handful of researchers and French people. While glamorous food like pomegranates, chia, and kale get all the attention, the onion sits on the sidelines. After all, how could money be made from onions? Onion tea? Yuck. Onion chips? Eh. Onion cereal? Gag. Let’s face it, a picture of the onion is never going to make it on a cereal box.
The onion is considered to be nutrient-dense, which means that they are low in calories and are high in beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It kicks red wine’s butt in the heart disease prevention race. Perhaps the onion is the unsung hero of the French Paradox, the fact that heart disease is low in France despite a diet high in fat. Try to find a French recipe without onions or consider Julia Childs’ quote “It’s hard to imagine civilization without onions.” Some say we should eat an onion a day!
Cipollinis are fancy, sweet, and small. They are thinner-skinned and have more sugar than your run-of-the-mill onion. This makes them ideal for eating raw if you are not an onion fan. But, the best way to prepare a Cipollini is to roast or caramelize it.
To help get the skin off try boiling them for a couple minutes.
Roast your Cipollinis
Toss onions with olive oil (add the Lemon Thyme from this week’s Herb & Allium Subscription). Put on a pan and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Turn them a couple times.
Caramelize your Cipollini Onions
This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
These onions are thin-skinned and have more sugar than your average onion. This makes them incredible for roasting or caramelizing. Roasted whole in the oven or cooked in a little butter on the stove top, Cipollinis become soft and practically melt in your mouth. Those sugars caramelize and concentrate, leaving behind none of the astringent raw onion flavor. Even the onion-haters out there might be swayed!