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Foodday

 

The Vidalia Onion

onion  

The Vidalia onion has the distinction of being called the "world's sweetest onion." And rightly so. Its mellow, yet juicy-sweet flavor is the result for the mild climate and unique soil combination found only in a designated area of South Georgia.

Each April, lovers of these succulent bulbs eagerly await the start of the Vidalia season which, until recently, lasted a mere three months. Now thanks to improved storage techniques, these sweeties are available right through December.

 

What You Should Know About Vidalia Onions:

How To Buy:

Vidalias are light golden-brown, and will have a white interior. Typically, their shape is slightly rounded on the bottom and somewhat flat on the top or stem end. They should be firm with so soft spots.

How To Store:

  • Vidalias tend to bruise easily. The key to maintaining their sweet goodness is to keep them cool, dry and separated. Try these storage methods:
  • If you're not going to use them immediately, wrap each one separately in paper towels and refrigerate.
  • Place in the legs of clear, sheer pantyhose. Tie a knot between each Vidalia and cut above the knot when you want one. Store in a cool, dry place.
  • Arrange the onions separately on elevated racks or screens and keep in a cool, dry place.
onions  

Nutitional Value of Vidalias

One Medium Raw Onion:

  • Is a good source of vitamin C
  • Is fat free and low in calories (only 60 calories per medium onion, despite its sweetness)
  • Is sodium free and contains no cholesterol
 
Pasta with Shrimp
and Vidalia Onion Oriental
  • 8 ounces uncooked fettucine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 5 cups Vidalia onion wedges
  • 1 cup sweet red bell pepper cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 pound extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cook fettucine according to package directions; drain; place in large bowl; set aside. Preheat broiler.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar, 1/4 cup water, ginger, sesame oil and ground red pepper. On a rack of a broiler pan place Vidalia onion and red bell pepper. Lightly brush vegetables with soy mixture. Broil until vegetables just start to soften, about 3 minutes; turn and push to side of pan. Place shrimp in a single layer on broiler pan. Lightly brush with soy mixture. Broil until shrimp just turn pink, about 1 minute; turn and broil until cooked through, about 1 minute longer. Add shrimp and vegetables to pasta.

In a small saucepan combine cornstarch and remaining soy mixture until smooth; bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened about 1 minute; boil and stir 1 minute longer. Toss with pasta; serve immediately. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Yield: 4 portions

Per portion:

  • 413 calories
  • 30 gm protein
  • 56 gm carbohydrate
  • 8 gm fat
  • 2,218 mg sodium
  • 194 mg cholesterol
 
Roasted Vidalia Onion Soup
  • 3 large (about 3 pounds) Vidalia onions, peeled and cut in wedges (13 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cans (13-3/4 ounces each) ready-to-serve chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan in oven for 5 minutes. Add onions; sprinkle with oil, stirring to coat. Bake uncovered, until onions are very tender and golden, stirring twice, about 50 minutes. Stir in garlic; bake until garlic softens slightly, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, thyme, bay leaf and red pepper; stir to combine. Cover tightly with foil; bake 20 minutes to blend flavors. Remove foil and bay leaf; cool slightly. Place half in the bowl of a food processor or in a container of and electric blender; process until the onions are coarsely puréed; repeat with remaining mixture. Serve hot, garnished with chives.

Yield 4 to 6 portions, 5-1/2 cups

Variation: Cream of Roasted Vidalia Onion Soup: Just before serving, stir 1/3 cup warm heavy cream into the puréed soup.

 

Provided by Vidalia Onion Committee

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

 
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This page modified September 2007


 

 
 

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