I eat just about anything. Onions are my true love and I’m grateful that they are in many different types of food. And if it’s not in the recipe, I try to find a way to put it there. I figured it only appropriate that my first post should be about onions. It’s funny to me that I have such a love affair with them because my brother completely despises them. I remember being young, ordering pizza (every topping except onions) with my family, and without fail he would always get the one piece of the pie that managed to have a stray onion on it. Sometimes he saw it before he took a bite but sometimes he didn’t. I don’t ever remember him getting sick from eating them but my dad tells the story of paying him a dollar to eat one and my brother threw up once it hit his esophagus.
I would say it is safe to assume that onions were part of our prehistoric diet. Some claim that there is record of onions dating back to 5000B.C. but it is uncertain whether or not these were cultivated onions. Egyptians worshipped the onion, “believing that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity” and were, in fact, buried with the pharaohs in the pyramids.
Why do I love onions? I think it’s the smell of them cooking, the simple taste & the enhancement of other flavors when they are in the dish. My favorite is the red, mostly because of their mild flavor but also because I don’t have to cook them before incorporating them into a dish. The onion is easily grown, transported & stored making them available all over the earth, and each dish a bit sweeter because it is there.
My favorite dish with onions is Ina Garten’s Caramelized Onion Dip. I no longer look at the recipe when I make it; I just taste each part of the recipe and then blend it all together. In essence, it is equal parts mayonnaise, sour cream & cream cheese whipped together. Chop 2 large onions (chop size depends on your personal preference) and caramelize with a small amount of fat. If you use approximately 8 oz of each of the dip ingredients, 2 onions should be sufficient. As you are caramelizing, season the onions with salt, pepper and cayenne (or Piri Piri – which some lovely Portuguese friends recently brought back for me!). Once done cooking, approximately 20 minutes, cool the onions slightly and blend. I like to eat it immediately when it is still a bit warm. Num, num, num 🙂