Dateline: 26 December 2016
|My first potato onion harvest.|
Last year was the first year I grew potato onions. I wrote about this unique variety of onion back in April of 2016 (Rediscovering and Restoring the Multiplier Onion). Then, come August, I wrote about my potato onion harvest (These Peasant Onions Are Amazing!). Now, I'd like to take this story a step further and show you how we put the smallest potato onions to good use...
It is something of a family tradition here to have cheese onions (aka, "cheesy onions" or "cheesed onions") for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner. Cheese onions, if you don't know, are boiled onions covered with a cheese sauce and baked (Here's a Recipe). You can slice up larger onions to make cheese onions, but small onions are preferred.
So, I selected out all the smallest potato onions from my harvest. The onions were harvested four months ago and were still in perfectly good, solid condition.
|The smallest onions from my harvest.|
Those are the potato onions I peeled. It was the least I could do, as I'm not much of a cook. I figured that since I was just peeling the onions, and not cutting them up, the "onion gas" would be minimal. I was wrong.
My eyes were burning pretty bad by the time I finished. It wasn't nearly as bad as the time I made horseradish sauce (My Horseradish Nightmare), but it was bad enough. Potato onions are potent onions!
And here they are, all peeled...
|Lovely, peeled potato onions.|
Marlene took over from there. I asked her what recipe she used and she told me, "I just have it in my head." Like her mother before her, and probably her mother before her.
Photographing food well is a real art, and some foods lend themselves to photographs well, but I don't think cheese onions are one of those foods. Nevertheless, I gave it my best shot—before digging in...
|Cheese onions on the right, followed (clockwise) by a cucumber-tomato-feta salad, maple-pecan roasted brussels sprouts, and a small piece of steak. Delightful.|
You can plant potato onions in the fall (like garlic) or in the spring. I have selected out several of the nicest looking specimens from last year's harvest to plant this coming spring. The beauty of these onions is that you buy some bulbs and plant them once. Then, if you select some of the nicest bulbs for replanting each year, you never have to buy them again. And, though the harvest is a mixed bag of small and medium-small sized onions, the smalls are perfectly suited for making cheese onions.