Though they are not the most elegant vegetable, onions are a flavorful and affordable addition to any meal. One of the few vegetables that show up in almost all world cuisines, the onion is a hardy vegetable that’s available year round. At only $2 for a 2 lb bag, onions are a great way to eat your way to debt relief.
A good source of polyphenols and flavonoids, onions offer anti-inflammatory benefits and cardiovascular support. Though they are not as nutritionally dense as some other produce, they are still packed with vitamins and minerals at only 92 calories per cup. Here are a few tips for handling onions and preparing them.
- Never store onions with potatoes. The ethylene gas causes the potatoes to spoil faster.
- Do onions make you cry? Use a sharp knife and cut the onions near an open window. Chilling the onions in the refrigerator for an hour will also lower the amount of gas that causes the tears.
- Onions should not be refrigerated for an extended period of time. Store them in a well-ventilated dark space.
Onions are incredibly versatile and can be the star of a dish or added for flavor. They make a great base for soups, stews, and sauces. If you have patience, you can make perfect caramelized onions to keep in the fridge (up to a week) and add to sandwiches, pasta, or burgers.
Perfect Caramelized Onions
3 yellow onions, sliced thin
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Place a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over low-medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions to the pan and stir gently to coat them in the oil.
After 5 minutes, the onions should begin to caramelize. Check every 5-10 minutes and stir, scraping up any bits that may stick on the bottom of the skillet. Patience is key!
All onions will cook a little differently, based on sugar content and size, so don’t be afraid to adjust the heat as needed. By 40 minutes, the onions should be just about done. If you prefer to continue developing the flavors, continue cooking for another 20 minutes, but still checking every 5-10 minutes.
Add the vinegar to the pan to deglaze and stir, scraping up any bits at the bottom of the pan. If you need more liquid, you can add more vinegar or use water instead. Salt to taste. They can be served hot or cold, and stored in the fridge up to a week or in the freezer for three months.